Christopher Willits is an artist, musician, and guitarist who creates immersive ambient music. As one of the core artists on the Ghostly International label roster since the early 2000s, Willits has continually evolved his craft, producing one of the most diverse and prolific catalogs within contemporary ambient music. Releases span introspective solo albums, widescreen audiovisuals, and unbridled collaborations. His process is an expression of love, inspired by an international audience of listeners, and the conviction that music can catalyze personal transformation and spiritual awakening.
Willits began his career with a string of critically acclaimed albums on the 12k label. The minimal sound introduced on those recordings remains at the core of his work: warm guitar tones woven into smooth, harmonic surfaces. Willits made his Ghostly International full-length debut with 2006 landmark Surf Boundaries. He’d expand his vision next through collaboration, working with Ryuichi Sakamoto (2008’s Ocean Fire and 2012’s Ancient Future), Zach Hill of Death Grips, Taylor Deupree, and, for 2014 LP Opening, with the whole band of Tycho. He also lent a hand in mastering the latter’s album Awake, composed the original score for documentary The Art of Listening, and continues to lead music production and meditation classes in San Francisco.
In 2017, Willits put forth Horizon, the first ever spatial audio release on Ghostly International. The album’s innovative 3D mix is mapped to surround listeners and align with sleep patterns, meditation, and other mindful practices. Willits is also the director and co-founder of the nonprofit, Envelop; leading a mission to amplify the connective power of music through immersive audio venues and spatial audio production tools. Like Horizon, his 2019 album Sunset utilizes Envelop’s cutting-edge technology to encourage listening from within. The five compositions move from warm to cool designed as a soundtrack to embrace the day's end; a collective letting go. Another skyward, pioneering project from an artist who occupies a unique corner of the electronic music universe.
When I was 12, I realized that my life’s path was to make music in the service of love and healing. Music is a medicine that allows us to feel, listen, and ultimately surrender to the present moment. The compositions I create move through my imagination, heart, and hands, like guitar through a speaker, and light through a lens. I am continuously learning and evolving with the process; a practice of letting go of all that I create, as it creates me.
I believe that music and art can catalyze inner change, and those changes within ourselves can influence changes in the world. As an artist, I design immersive experiences of sound and light, with the intention of creating a space for opening, reflection and transformation. As a teacher, I show others how to do this for themselves and aid them in creating what they love. The experiences I share are informed by my practices of meditation, Tai Chi and work with plant medicines. I express the gratitude, wonder and inspiration of being on this planet together.