Is that an awesome photo or what? Shout out to photographer Makenzie Stone. It has been really fun to work with Will on the collection of electronic sounds and happenings for this opera. We've had this cool synchronicity of thoughts: I'll share an idea, something like cosmic noise, and it will have turned out that we were both consumed with joy over the sounds emanating from the Rosetta Mission comet landing. Or another time, I asked if he could do some voice distortion/processing, and he had just been delving into algorithms for mutating speech. Very fun. Will is also performing with the ensemble on his prepared electric guitar, a distortion-ful bowed instrument...
Here's what Will says about the sounds in Ishtar:
"Crickets, volcanoes, the ambient engine noise of the USS Enterprise from Star Trek TNG, lions, earthquakes, My Bloody Valentine, Bad Brains, Guided By Voices, subway tunnels, a "country day", metal dragging on metal, whistling tea kettles slowed way down, etc. etc."
Will is a somewhat recent graduate of the Cornish College of the Arts, where he studied composition with Wayne Horvitz and Jarad Powell. I've recorded a piano trio and a piano quartet that he wrote - really beautiful and elegant chamber music. His alter ego is this noise-obsessed electronics artist. Dave Segal of The Stranger says of his band Newaxeyes:
“Newaxeyes’ music is dark without being hackneyed, abrasive yet nuanced, psychedelic in non-obvious ways. Everything’s distorted, all of the time … Newaxeyes are Seattle’s most exciting new band.”
Besides the chamber music and Newaxeyes, Will has worked in film and video, dance, theater and performance art. He is one of a cadre of graduating Cornish artists in various disciplines who have formed a collective/creative production company called Pendleton House. Part dance, part visual art, part music (both live and recorded), Pendleton House reaches deep into the human psyche to present performance art that stirs and challenges its audience.
Here's a video by Newaxeyes, called Lips:
I'm really interested to see how Will's music expands and develops. Please take a look at his very wonderful website.