Christopher Willits at PhilaMOCA @ PhilaMOCA, Philadelphia [16 September]

Christopher Willits at PhilaMOCA


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531 N 12th St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19123
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Christopher Willits

Ambient electronic and guitar pioneer Christopher Willits will perform his new album Horizon through a multi-speaker spatial audio system that surrounds the audience. Creating a space of peace and relaxation has always been at the core of Willits' music, but this latest solo album, composed with processed guitar and field recordings within a three dimensional soundfield, takes the idea of serene ambient music to another level of experience.

As the director of Envelop, Christopher has set up spatial audio listening spaces that are powered by Envelop's open source software in San Francisco, along with a traveling mobile space. For this event Christopher has customized the spatial performance of Horizon for this room, and this special night together.


Grammy-nominated guitarist and producer Christopher Willits occupies a unique corner of the music universe—hovering above the intersection of electronic production’s nuts and bolts and a wide-open creative mind. His tireless activity has produced over 25 albums in the last 15 years—solo and in collaboration with artists including Ryuichi Sakamoto, Tycho, and Taylor Deupree—and an organic, minimal sound that expands like the vines of an electro-acoustic kudzu plant. Willits is the co-founder of spatial audio / 3D sound platform Envelop as well as the creative collective Overlap, a teacher of music and mediation in San Francisco, a tech geek, a visual/new media artist, and virtuosic musician in one. Throughout, he strives to create space in which to illuminate creativity and catalyze inner change.

In Willits’ music, all elements are interconnected; voice and guitar lines fold into bleary, unrecognizable shapes and polyrhythmic textures, often overlapping with his own cinematic film and video work. This widescreen approach grows more immersive and innovative with each release. A full list of his critically acclaimed catalog would take up considerable column space, but a beginner’s guide to Willits includes 2002’s Folding, and the Tea (his debut on 12k), 2006’s landmark Surf Boundaries (his first full-length on Ghostly International), 2008’s Ocean Fire (Willits’ collaboration with renowned pianist / composer Ryuichi Sakamoto), 2010’s Tiger Flower Circle Sun (a study on universal vibrations), 2012’s Ancient Future (his second album with Sakamoto), and the audiovisual LP Opening recorded with the whole band of Tycho in 2014.

The deep ambient terrain of his 2017 effort, Horizon, culminates Willits career-long journey for physicality and serenity in music, and marks Ghostly International’s first ever spatial audio release. Composed for three dimensional listening (whether inside an Envelop space or at home with ordinary headphones), the one hour and thirty minute album surrenders to the sentient fabric of time and space, and by design, aligns with sleep patterns, meditation, and other mindful practices. A logical step for an artist devoted to creating rich, immersive audiovisual experiences.

Venue Information:
531 North 12th St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19123
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