Sound ∆ Light
Feb 15, 2013
Electronic musician Christopher Willits combines sounds with gorgeous images in his new show.
Producer Christopher Willits — who crafts positive, beautiful, relaxing electronic music — brings his one-man band of guitar, vocals and electronics to the Independent on Friday.
The leading figure in San Francisco electronic music, opening for Tycho on Friday, will debut a new audio-video show featuring exotic, gorgeous vistas that he shot in HD and Super 8. He live-edits the video material while simultaneously layering guitar, vocals and effects.
The dreamy, surreal show offers a visual first look at Willits’ (next) album, which he hopes to release this year. “I feel like the live show is more dialed in than it’s ever been,” he says. “I’m really excited to show it.”
As he shoots on long hikes in places like Thailand, Willits searches for “beautiful spots on earth — things that represent a lot of the images and places I hear and see as I’m creating my music.”
The Kansas City native came to the Bay Area in 2000 (After a painting scholarship at KCAI) but ended up getting a master’s degree in electronic music at Mills College. Along the way, he advanced his skills in photography, cinematography and new media.
The Bernal Heights resident and Ghostly International artist’s releases include the 2006 album “Surf Boundaries” and 2010 album “Tiger Flower Circle Sun.” His 2012 collaboration with legendary pianist-composer Ryuichi Sakamoto yielded the cerebral, sleepy ambient jazz release “Ancient Future.”
After 12 years in The City, Willits says San Francisco is home.
“I feel like San Francisco accepts you in the first couple of years or it’ll kick you out because it’s kind of expensive. I feel lucky. The vibe of what I want to do and create and love — all that’s been just reciprocal in the community I found here.”
The multimedia artist just released a successful line of museum-quality archival photo prints: minimalist beach landscapes that bridge Willits’ sound and video work. His art collective, Overlap, is also supporting releases and events in 2013.
“I feel really sort of blessed. Things are flowing. I feel like there’s a new scene that is emerging in San Francisco. It’s positive, it’s beautiful and it’s about the sound and the lights,” he says. “It’s attentive. It’s listening music, but it’s also accessible. It’s not something that’s trying to just be eccentric for the sake of being eccentric.”
Read more at the San Francisco Examiner here.
Dec 11, 2012
I'll be performing new work at the Independent in SF with Tycho, Friday Jan 18th, 2013.
Tickets going fast for this, you can grab one here. It will be a beautiful night.
Thursday Dec 13th, I'll be a guest performer, improvising in an aquarium with Manitous (Slayers Club, Public Works) at The California Academy of Sciences. The Academy has been doing some wonderful things. More soon about another event that I'm working on with them on Jan 17th.
Oct 23, 2012
The tour in Japan was incredible. 9th time in Japan and this tour was the best.
I played six shows in support of Ancient Future my new album with Ryuichi Sakamoto.
Two shows in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Fukuoka, Kanazawa.
I felt such a lucid and clear connection with the audiences at each event.
Our consciousness was connecting, opening, through the vibration of sound/light.
Throughout the performances I tried out new material that I'm currently working on for my next solo project. This series of events validated the path, it's feeling very resonant.
Now back in San Francisco, and I'm going to record live studio versions of these audiovisual pieces.
Thanks to everyone who came out and shared their love. I am absolutely humbled and grateful.
Many more photos shared from the tour on my Facebook Page and @willits on Twitter and Instagram.
Live at Yoenji Temple, Tokyo (w/ Corey Fuller).
Oct 3, 2012
It's been an amazing month. So many things are growing at the same time. Every moment is an opportunity to refine, and relax into it, creating deeper.
Preparing for Japan tour October 8-22. All dates here.
I've been working on my next solo album, created from many of the recordings I made at SnowGhost studio in Montana recently. ...
... New videos are emerging from over 1500 "moving photographs" that I have taken over the last couple years. I've recently completed my first photo pigment prints. I'll be sharing these soon in a new online shop. My Tai Chi and meditation practice keeps flowing deeper and deeper. I'm now teaching my first Tai Chi student as well, an amazingly talented acupuncturist and healer who had heard about the old form I practice.
It's all connected.
+ This summer I was invited to teach a class in the Graduate Design program at The California College of the Arts (CCA). I developed a new course that encapsulates so much I have learned, titled "Sound + Image Resonance". This has been moving along really well, in our fifth week now. Incredible students, ludic work, and it's providing a body for many concepts and ideas that I have discovered over the years.
+ + New release by The Maidu out on Overlap October 4th. Keep an eye out for this beautiful album and photo print we created.