Good Willsmith will use their time at HCL to explore the physical, temporal and referential properties of sound, by designing and executing live performances within a series of thematic structures. Because the group’s sound is rooted in seemingly “static” drones and sustained tones, simple variations in the acoustic properties of the performance space, the instrumentation, and the sound sources sampled can yield seismic changes in the “outcome” of each new performance. With this sonic dynamism in mind, each group member will use rehearsal time at HCL to incorporate new instruments and sound sources (tape machines, analog synthesizers, digital samplers, unique noisemakers) into live performances meant to exist within specific spaces / conceptual headspaces of HCL. These rehearsals will culminate in a showcase performance in which the space’s physical constraints (across three floors) will be exploited to their maximum. Each performance will feature visual multimedia developed in collaboration with local artists, united with the group’s sounds via their exploitation of arcane physical formats and their focus on evocative, abstracted content.
Good Willsmith is a trio – Max Allison, Natalie Chami, and Doug Kaplan – that develops long-form, semi-improvisatory sessions of drone music. Processing standard “rock” instrumentation (guitar, bass, synths, vocals) through multi-track looping systems and chains of electronics, the group creates glacial, drifting tones that escalate in intensity across extended live performances. The trio appropriates sounds and textures from ambient, noise, kosmische, minimalist, metal and raga music into their output – while always maintaining a low droning element as the foundation for sonic exploration. All three group members graduated from Northwestern University and all three live and work in Chicago. Their recent live performances include the Zoneward Bound Tour – a series of nine shows on the west coast in August, 2012 – and showcases in WNUR’s Sonic Celluloid and Airplay programs. Hausu Mountain Records, a label started by Kaplan and Allison, released two Good Willsmith albums in 2012 – and the group has planned releases for labels including Plustapes, Spirit Throne Tapes, Merz Tapes and more.