Quoting from parts of the article -
G: How important are visual aesthetics to your music, and how are you involved in that process?
CW: I’m realizing that my music is all visual. I approach music more like painting and graphic design — taking colors and shapes of sounds, chords, notes, texture, bass, and connecting and overlapping them until it feels right. I just hear it and do it. I’m not thinking about music as a thing, just sound as a feeling and images in the imagination.
My work now is more visual also in a literal sense. I’m making these audiovisual pieces from the ground up — shooting, editing, and adjusting color. It feels good, like the sounds and images have created a home together.
G: Can you talk separately about two of the most positive experiences you’ve had with listening to music and creating music?
CW: When I was 13, the music of Jimi Hendrix was the most amazing thing I had ever heard. It was like hearing someone make the music you had been listening to in you dreams. I knew I was going to play guitar for the rest of my life after listening to Hendrix, especially “Machine Gun” from Band of Gypsys Live at the Fillmore East.
I love John Coltrane. He’s another artist that I feel a very deep connection with. And I love his work with McCoy Tyner. The way he voices chords is just so beautiful. I can’t see Coltrane since he’s passed, but being able to see McCoy Tyner at Yoshi’s was so incredible. When I’m old, maybe I’ll just play some far-out jazz.
Creating Ocean Fire with Ryuichi Sakamoto was pretty surreal. It was the first time we ever met, and we recorded in his New York studio for hours. Pure sound communication. No speaking, only listening and responding with sound.
Playing my first show in Tokyo was a really amazing experience. Every show teaches you something, but this one really stood out. In the middle of my set, I looked up and felt this incredible feeling, like a validation of everything I wanted to do in my life. I could feel the audience connecting to the sound, and it was just so clear to me that I’m here to create and bring people together in this way.
G: What differences or similarities do you experience when collaborating versus recording by yourself? Do you prefer one to the other?
CW: I love collaboration because it always shows me something new about my own practice and how I communicate and relate to others. But I also love working solo, because it always shows me new things about myself that I would not discover outside of a creative process that is solely my responsibility. For me, it’s about setting an intention and designing a process around that. If the project calls for collaboration, I’ll do that. One thought that often goes through my mind that’s related to this is that, really, everything is a collaboration. You are always in collaboration with the universe around you. It’s all consciousness and I am one part of this incredible whole.
You can read the entire post here.
Since I was 13 years old I’ve dreamed about the power of art, sound and light, to transform oneself and inspire a space of loving change in the world. Music and images can be very strong medicine. So far in my life, this project, released today, is my biggest contribution to that vision. This is a visual album I call OPENING, and I hope you enjoy it.
FACT Magazine is streaming the music of my upcoming visual album OPENING -
So happy to share this with you. Full film is released SEPT 2 streaming from vimeo and my website - http://www.christopherwillits.com/opening
From the article -
The San Francisco multimedia artist brings it all together on his latest album.
Christopher Willits has spent over a decade exploring ambient soundscapes, collaborating with the likes of Kid606, Death Grips’ Zach Hill and Ryuichi Sakamoto, and working in photography, video and other mediums.
His latest work, OPENING, is a audio-visual project that brings many of these threads together, combining seven ambient tracks, 45 minutes of visual, seven photographs and a “multi-sensory, multiple channel live performance.” “Sound and light can transform and inspire our imaginations,” he says. “It can be used as a tool to awaken our consciousness.”
Along with his richly textured compositions, OPENING includes an abstract narrative film built from images and footage from his travels in California, Hawaii, Japan and Thailand, in what press materials describe as Planet Earth meets Koyaanisqatsi.