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End-of-Summer Playlist

October 13th, 2015

As you’re hanging on to the last of the heat, here’s the playlist I put out on the Wall of Trophies page for the summer:

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B:TON Brunnen

September 2nd, 2015

Last month I spent a few days in Brunnen, Switzerland alongside the Swiss VJ group Videokultur to do visuals for the B:TON Festival, which took place in an incredibly cool abandoned cement factory. In addition to helping with building and installing several pieces and projections, I showcased my piece Circles in one room and I recorded (then looped) a live visual set onsite. We projected the set onto one of the big walls. Pictures below:

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My VJ set on wall

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Brunnen was incredibly gorgeous

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My new life motto… and a great VIP badge!

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Working on Circles on my laptop next to its projection

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New A/V Piece “Meditations” – Live

July 19th, 2015

"Meditations" – Live from Will Copps on Vimeo.

 

Meditations is an audio/visual work created for the PRISM 16 event in Sheffield, England. The piece was recorded via live performance in the artist’s studio in July 2015.

The piece focuses on the attempt to distance oneself from the world via meditation while the sounds of the outside world seep in–at first distracting, but eventually becoming a part of the experience. The piece uses a hybrid greenery/abstract aesthetic to reflect on Sheffield’s art scene and abundance of parks.

Watch the live performance here and see the full piece premiere at PRISM 16 on 24 July.

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New Band

May 31st, 2015

Brittany Jean and I are now Wall of Trophies. Follow along at walloftrophies.com

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All Gone!

April 3rd, 2015

The Circles woodprints have now sold out. Thank you to everyone for your interest!

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Circles Launches; Woodprints for Sale

March 28th, 2015

My audio/visual installation Circles debuts today at the Georgia Museum of Art during Athens Slingshot Festival. To celebrate, I’m releasing a series of 8 woodprints of the piece out into the world for sale.

Each print is a custom digital image hand-transferred onto wildwood from Minnesota, then finished with a matte gel with strong, impressionistic-brushstrokes. Each is the culmination of about a month of on-and-off work.

The idea of the prints comes from the audio/visual installation, which is designed for viewers to interact with and create their own digital images. These images on the woodprints are my own interactions with the piece–generative and random.

I wanted to contrast the beauty and perfection of digital art with something tangible from nature, which is why I hand-transferred the pieces onto the wood. The spontaneity of the image breaks and tears from the process echoes the randomness in the piece. You can learn more about the audio/visual aspects here: https://vimeo.com/100022468

$100 per piece, including shipping. Each is about 16″ x 11″ and is preinstalled with a wire hanger.

Find the pieces for sale on my Facebook page.

(Already sold: Circles #2; Circles #3.)

 

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Finnish Strip & Soviets Stealing Records in Bushes

March 21st, 2015

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Much like my honeymoon (thanks Emily!) to the Sunset Strip in LA to see the sacred ground of The Doors, Guns N’ Roses, and others, I was excited for my cold trek to Tavastia Klub in Helsinki. As a big fan of the Finnish rock music scene (Murmansk, Mesmer, etc), it was as inspirational as I’d hoped to see the club where these bands cut their teeth. Unlike the Strip, Tavastia is still grimy and lively and energetic and beautiful and everything you’d expect from an important modern music venue. Seeing and meeting Say Lou Lou there was a treat (and a great reason to move our trip one day earlier)–their set was energetic, lush and positively Scandinavian. I highly recommend them if you like dreamy pop music.

Finland, by the way, is incredible–the coffee is amazing and the people are warm. There were four concerts I wanted to see in our three nights there, plus a coffee festival and a street food festival. A solid #2 on my “I Could Live Here–Europe” list behind Berlin. But Finland was not the extent of the trip’s inspiration–I found just as much across the water in a country younger than I am.

Harjumägi park in Tallinn, Estonia has a great story behind it– the citizens used to trade Western music there (it was forbidden by the Soviets) and the police would pop out from behind the bushes and steal the music from them. Apparently one vinyl back then cost about half of a month’s wages, so the Soviet police were really just stealing it to sell for themselves and get rich. I can’t imagine having to risk so much to hear what I can so easily download or grab from a record store now. People talk frequently about what music’s worth, as have I–thinking only monetarily. It’s wonderful we don’t need to factor jailtime into that discussion.

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This is what old Tallinn looks like. There was also a Depeche Mode bar. Yep.

Combining that park story with the local crafts and some record store purchases of incredible Estonian electronic music, I have driven off the cliff of inspiration. I’m a bit worried that our next album will be clearly pre- and post-Estonia–with the songs in the latter category being cold, driving, shoegaze, electronic Euro. Maybe that’s not a bad thing.

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Me doing a hyperlapse of the cruise for my videoart while working on our new song “Crown.”

It’s probably a bad thing.

We shall see.

Out with some Mesmer:

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/17493759″ params=”color=ff5500″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

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Storm Shadow

January 10th, 2015

The build is complete–enter Storm Shadow (yes, my computer names all have a G.I. Joe theme). I’m still mid-cleanup, but I took the opportunity to re-organize the studio a bit.

Solid-state hard drives really are amazing.

But be wary of buying the Corsair H80i cooling fan. I’ve had a terrible experience with it. I had to RMA one because the screw threads broke; then they broke on the next one also, so I had to do some weird replacement screw/electrical tape fix that will probably backfire.

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Attack Penguin Rocks Wedding Processional

November 23rd, 2014

Some of you may be familiar with my former band Attack Penguin, comprising me on drums and synth and Terry King (rest in peace, friend) on guitar and vocals. Well, Terry’s best friend growing up, Lauren Libera, got married this past weekend and wanted to incorporate his music into the wedding to honor him. So she asked me to adapt the Attack Penguin song “Keanu Reeves” to organ to use for her wedding processional.


Attack Penguin play “Keanu Reeves” live at the Black Cat in DC, 2006

…um…

ABSOLUTELY.

Lauren specifically liked the intro to the song and was able to get an exception from the Catholic priest to use it for the procession. All cleared to go, except that:

    • I don’t have an organ
    • I can’t really write sheet music
    • The intro needed to become a 4-minute piece
    • Organists only have two hands and two feet

All surmountable things for Attack Penguin, of course. I used a virtual organ and started off by writing the main melody line and layering Terry’s beautiful, simple guitar intro. This got a little boring over four minutes, and wasn’t really utilizing the best part of an organ (the low drones you can wrangle out of sustained chords), so I added some deep, low chords in a few spots to really fill up the church. Building off those things made it easy—I finished it off with a couple of section changes and some melodies that were inspired by Terry—what I thought he would’ve written for the organ.

Writing the music always seems to be the easy part. I exported the song to some sheet music software and, well, it resembled Black MIDI (perfectly great digression: if you don’t know Black MIDI, you must. It’s like really fast metal music where musicians cram as many extremely fast notes as possible into a song, making the sheet almost black. But it’s all digital and with virtual instruments. We are talking THOUSANDS of notes per minute).


A great example of Black MIDI

Figuring the organist miiiiiight not want to figure that out, I spent quite a long time quantizing (moving every little note into exactly the right spot so that it would look right on the music staff) and getting my sheet music ready to go. I was really happy with the result, because I really think it captured Attack Penguin and Terry.

I’m very happy to share the full song, “March of the Attack Penguin,” here:



Here’s a page of what the final sheet music looked like (much more doable than Black MIDI):

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And most importantly, here’s the video of the result:

March of the Attack Penguin from Will Copps on Vimeo.

Congratulations Lauren, and ACK ACK ATTACK!

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