Hunt Valley Woods, 2021
Hunt Valley Woods is an exploration of the relationship between nature and humanity in a suburb in Northern Virginia. It works to capture the beauty of their interaction and repeated neglect of each other.
It is available for free, online, here.
Circles is a generative, interactive audio/visual piece that uses SONAR sensors to detect viewers' presence and manipulate the key, melodies, and effects of the piece based on their proximity. When a viewer engages the work, each video pixel turns into a small paintbrush, painting across the television like a canvas. As the visuals are generative, no two pixel paintings ever look the same. Circles extends beyond the exhibit, as well. These pixel paintings automatically upload to a Circles page online--acting as a dynamic documentation of the piece. The artist also made twelve Circles prints, which he hand-transferred onto Minnesota wildwood. They have all sold.
- B:TON Festival (Brunnen, Switzerland) (2015)
- Athens Slingshot Festival and Georgia Museum of Art (Athens, Georgia) (2015)
Meditations is an audio/visual work created for the PRISM 17 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; the full piece showed at PRISM 17 at the Millennium Gallery on 24 July.
"Target" is a ten-minute video loop of pixel paintings created for Copps' first show in Germany. The piece concludes the trilogy that began with Copps' previous work "The Passenger Car." In it, Copps uses video shot in his new town to reflect on his move and adaptation to life in Germany.
- SCREENGRAB 6 (Queensland, Australia) (2014)
- AZ (Stuttgart, Germany) (2014)
The Almagest Series, 2013
The Almagest Series is Copps' audio/visual album. The album was created specifically for spaces in St. Michael's Castle, a part of the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. The work tackles the concept of "ambience" through both its atmospheric music and Copps' signature video-pixel paintings: it is equally functional when closely or casually observed in the castle.
Shown here is "6/12," one of the 12 pieces that make up the album.
- State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia) (2013)
Awakening is Will's first audio/visual film. It was completed in August, 2012. It explores the use of synaesthetic elements, selective use of color, and high-contrast imagery. The audio and video of the piece were created in concert with each other throughout the process—each influencing and driving the other. Above is a short exceprt of the film.
- Colony 13 (Cardigan, Wales) (2013)
- Film Festival, Queens Hall Gallery (Pembrokeshire, Wales) (2013)
- Athens Slingshot Festival (Athens, GA) (2013)
- Cinesonika 3 Film Festival (Derry, Northern Ireland) (2013)
Summer, A Long Time Ago, 2013
"Summer, A Long Time Ago" is Copps' first collaborative piece with DC-area musician Brian Young and also the first piece he completed after his move to Germany. The piece is inspired by the "En Plein Air" artists, and as such is made from a foundation of field recordings and digital video captured in Copps' new location. These elements were then returned to the studio for manipulation. The piece evokes distant memories but also serves as an exploration of new surroundings.
- Continuous Present Tense (Tulsa Living Arts, OK) (2013)
- Media Rise Festival (Washington, DC) (2013)
Traffic Red, 2013
"Traffic Red" was specifically created for a RaiseDC charity event in DC. A visual-only piece, it was projected as an event centerpiece. It was used both on its own and as a background visual for the band Brett. "Traffic Red" builds upon much of the same philosophy and aesthetic of Copps' previous work "The Passenger Car," but was done through the lens of anticipation of Copps' impending move to Germany.
To learn more about RaiseDC, visit them on Facebook
- Malmaison (Washington, DC) (2013)
Sonar Duel, 2013
SONAR Duel is an interactive piece done in collaboration with new media artist Nathan Boyer. On one level the piece is about randomness: the melodies are randomly created, the feedback loop makes it behave in all kinds of random ways. And yet the triggers, and the harmonics that the TVs "speak" in, humanize the televisions and give them something of an illusion of consciousness. They begin to seem almost alive. This piece is about those tensions -- the tension between randomness and structure, and also the the tension between the truth of this being a machine with simple triggers and the illusion of sentience.
- Boston CyberArts Gallery (Boston, MA) (2013)
The Passenger Car, 2012
The Passenger Car is the first of Copps' video-pixel paintings presented in a non-interactive format. The piece was created and recorded via a "performance" by the artist, as he manipulated a generative system he created into the resulting work. This was done by mapping many of the video manipulation parameters to faders, buttons, and knobs. This method of creation was similar to the way Copps worked on stage in his audio/visual bands. This method of working contributes to the unique aesthetic. The work was projected on endless loop over a large window in its own room at the gallery, giving the viewer the sensation that the room itself was moving.
- Doris Mae Art Gallery (Washington, DC) (2012)
Digital Synthetic, 2010
The use of a SONAR sensor to detect when a viewer is present pushes Digital Synthetic into “painting” mode, where a video-pixel painting unfurls that is completely unique to the viewer’s presence and that moment in time.
- Boston CyberArts Gallery (Boston, MA) (2012)
- Stearns History Museum & Research Center (St. Cloud, MN) (2012)
- Volkswagen/Audi Headquarters (Herndon, VA) (2012)
- Smithsonian Institute (Washington, DC) (2011-2012)
- Artisphere (Rosslyn, VA) (2010-2011)
You, Disappearing, 2010
T"You, Disappearing" is Copps' first audio/visual piece. The piece incorporates timelapse photography and Copps' electronic music.
Copps' second release with bandmate Brittany Jean as Wall of Trophies, Semaphore finds the band building on atmospheres of lush synths and guitars, with their voices and emotions as sonic centerpieces.
Above is a video for the second single, Left Behind, released July 2019. The album is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon, Sony Music, Spotify, and more. More information is available at the Wall of Trophies website.
Rush/Release is Copps' first solo single, combining his love of dense atmospheres, hypnotic rhythms, and bright melodic work.
The single was produced and mixed in Stuttgart, Germany and mastered in Springfield, Virginia. It is available for free stream and download on BandCamp.
Copps' debut as one-half of Washington, DC-based atmospheric rock band Wall of Trophies. Their 11-track debut album--written, produced, mixed, and mastered by the band--was released on 29 January 2016. The album is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon, Sony Music, Spotify, and more.
Above is their music video for the album's third single, "Never/Always." More information is available at the Wall of Trophies website.
Places is a conceptual album made with Washington, DC musician Brittany Jean. The album mixes electronics, synthesizers, field recordings and folk music to take the listener to the imaginary Places that Brittany and Will constructed to write the songs in. The intimacy of these Places belies the 4,097 miles between Will and Brittany during the album's creation.
Playing here is "The Smoke/The Snow," the first single off the album. The album is available for free download at the Will Copps Bandcamp site.
Spatial Garden, 2021
Spatial Garden is a GPS-based musical and visual journey through 40n years of history at the Hirshhorn Museum's Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC. It was debuted during SoundScene:Emerge in 2021, and has remained on display via signage through 2022.
Learn more here.
Year One, 2017-19
Copps' second release under the TCW label, Year One is an evolving, augmented-reality spatial album for iOS, and is believed to be the first album spatially composed for location-agnostic augmented reality.
Listeners navigate the world around them to spatially experience the music--hearing different sounds, triggering different effects, and discovering entirely different lyrics and melodies. No listen is ever the same twice.
Above is a promotional video for V4 of the app, released in 2019. More information, including a how-to guide for other musicians to build AR apps, is available at the TCW website.
Spatial Orchestra, 2019
For Copps' third release under the TCW label, Spatial Orchestra is a collaboration between TCW and Cinema-Sonic, whose beautiful orchestra forms the foundation of an immersive interactive experience--notably through augmented reality on iPhone and iPad devices. The app lets you physically walk through your living room or other space, seeing the instruments and hearing them as if they were there. Three different views are available.
Desktop versions are also available for PC and Mac.
Deep Sound of Space, 2019
The Deep Sound of Space is a collaboration with Peter Gate, scoring the Sutu Palace in Bucharest, Romania. Music written by Peter Gate, with programming and spatial production and effects by TCW. This app uses your phone's GPS and compass capabilities. You will only hear sound if you are standing in the correct geographic location. Headphones are required for the proper experience.
Copps' first release under the TCW label, Inauguration uses GPS technology to place and move sounds around listeners in the area between the White House and the Washington Monument in Washington, DC.
Inauguration is available for both iOS and Android devices. Above is a promotional video for the app, released January 2017.
About & CV
Will Copps is an audio-visual artist and musician known for his spatial music applications, interactive installations, and signature "pixel painting" visual style. He programmed and released the first known spatial album, "Year One," using augmented reality (AR) for iOS, as well as the first AR orchestra, "Spatial Orchestra." In addition to apps, Copps creates both standalone audio-visual pieces and custom-coded generative installations that spectators interact with through SONAR detection and other means in museums, parks, and galleries.
- SPATIAL SOUND APPLICATIONS (AS TCW)
- 2021 Spatial Garden – On-site history of the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden
- 2019 Spatial Orchestra – Augmented reality orchestra, for iOS/PC/Mac w/ Cinema-Sonic
- 2019 Deep Sound of Space – GPS-based spatial album in Sutu Palace, Romania w/ collab
- 2017-2019 Year One – Evolving augmented reality spatial album for iOS
- 2017 Inauguration – GPS-based spatial album for Android, iOS
- A/V WORKS AND INSTALLATIONS
- 2015 Circles – B:TON Festival (Brunnen, Switzerland)
- 2015 Live Set (Recorded on location) – B:TON Festival (Brunnen, Switzerland)
- 2015 Meditations – PRISM 17/Tramlines, Millennium Gallery (Sheffield, England)
- 2015 Circles – Athens Slingshot Festival and Georgia Museum of Art (Athens, GA)
- 2014 Target – SCREENGRAB 6 (Queensland, Australia)
- 2014 Target – DAZ (Stuttgart, Germany)
- 2013 The Almagest Series – State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia)
- 2013 Summer, A Long Time Ago – Tulsa Living Arts (Tulsa, OK) w/ Brian Young
- 2013 Summer, A Long Time Ago – Media Rise Festival (DC) w/ Brian Young
- 2013 Traffic Red – Malmaison (Washington, DC)
- 2013 SONAR Duel – Boston Cyberarts Gallery (Boston, MA) w/ Nathan Boyer
- 2013 Awakening – Colony 13 (Cardigan, Wales)
- 2013 Awakening – Film Festival, Queens Hall Gallery (Pembrokeshire, Wales)
- 2013 Awakening – Athens Slingshot Festival (Athens, GA)
- 2013 Awakening – Cinesonika Film Festival (Derry, Northern Ireland)
- 2012 Digital Synthetic – Boston Cyberarts Gallery (Boston, MA)
- 2012 The Passenger Car – Doris-Mae Art Gallery (Washington, DC)
- 2012 Digital Synthetic Demo – Stearns History Museum (St. Cloud, MN)
- 2012 Digital Synthetic Demo – Volkswagen Showroom (Herndon, VA)
- 2011 Digital Synthetic – Ripley Center, Smithsonian Institute (Washington, DC)
- 2010 Digital Synthetic – Artisphere (Rosslyn, VA)
- LPs, EPs, AND SINGLES
- 2019 Semaphore – Album Release w/ Wall of Trophies
- 2016 Rush/Release – Single Release
- 2016 Heliograph – Album Release w/ Wall of Trophies
- 2014 Places – Album Release w/ Brittany Jean
- 2012 Let it Go – EP w/ Brittany Jean
- 2011 Paris Stairs – EP w/ Brittany Jean
- GRANTS, RESIDENCIES and AWARDS
- 2013 & 2014 Finalist, Screengrab New Media Arts Award
- 2013 Grant, U.S. State Department
- 2013 Grant, University of Missouri (in collaboration with Nathan Boyer)
- 2011 Award of Excellence, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
- PUBLICATIONS, EVENTS AND TALKS
- 2018 Talk – GameSoundCon 2018, Los Angeles
- 2014 Hack Event – 4DSOUND Lab, Amsterdam Dance Event, Netherlands
- 2014 Webinar – VSA, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
- 2013 Article – Soundtrack Magazine, “Awakening”
- 2013 Talk – State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
- 2013 Talk – School of Philosophy, St. Petersburg State University
- 2013 Talk – St. Petersburg State Bard-Smolny
- 2013 Master Class – Smolny University of the Russian Academy of Pedagogy
- 2013 Director Panel – University of Ulster, Northern Ireland
- 2017 SPARK Disability Art Festival – Calgary, Canada
In 2010, I lost my best friend--the wonderful, talented, and magnificent Terry King. His music is just like his friendship--creative, inspiring, and full of heart. In one of our (many) bands together, he awoke in the middle of the night, wrote the word "Metagma" on his arm, and fell back asleep. It's remained a perpetual song title--and the perfect title for this page. Here, you will find a growing collection of his music for all to enjoy.