British composer and experimental music artist Christopher James Chaplin studied piano with Irene Denereaz in Vevey (Switzerland) before moving to London in the early eighties.
In 2009 he was invited by Viennese electronic music label Fabrique Records to collaborate with Thomas Pötz aka Kava on “Seven Echoes”, a concept album released and presented live at the well-known Art Brut Museum Gugging in Austria for the first time. There he met electronic music pioneer Hans-Joachim Roedelius (Cluster, Harmonia) who later invited Christopher to take part in a “Late Junction“ live session for BBC Radio 3. The result of this second collaboration eventually led to another collaboration album, “King of Hearts”.
In the years that followed Chaplin and Roedelius performed around the world; these were largely improvised performances with Roedelius on piano and electronics, and Chaplin on synthesizers and orchestral samples. They captivated audiences in Paris (Silencio), Rejkjavik (Extrem Chill Festival), Sao Paulo (Sesc Belenzinho), Barcelona (Primavera Festival), Madeira (MMiFF Festival), Berlin (Akademie der Künste), Lunz am See (More Ohr Less Festival) and Vienna (TBA21, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary) among others.
October 2016 finally saw the release of Christopher Chaplin's highly acclaimed first solo album "Je suis le Ténébreux", which had been partly recorded at Air's legendary Atlas Studio in Paris and various studios in the UK. It weaves experimental musical influences around a sixteenth century text, an epitaph known as the Enigma of Bologna. The album features the voices of Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Christine
Martha Roedelius, French actress and soprano Judith Chemla and Italian
tenor Pino Costalunga, as well as the text and voice of Claudia
Schumann. It was followed by a versatile remix EP the year after, including reworks by producers such as Grammy-nominated American composer Tim Story, Berlin-based sound and media artist Jana Irmert, <tfo> from Brooklyn, and Viennese electronic music producer Peter Zirbs.
Having been back in his studio for several months Christopher Chaplin now returns with a new epic solo album „Paradise Lost“ in June 2018, featuring the American vocalist and poet Leslie Winer and British tenor Nathan Vale. In a powerful soundtrack of winding paths through the (un)conscious, Chaplin again combines experimental electronic with chamber and contemporary music approaches.
PARADISE LOST (album released in June 2018)
"'Paradise Lost' is the second album by London-based musician and composer Christopher Chaplin. Following 'Je suis le Ténébreux' (2016), 'Paradise Lost' condenses experimental electronics into a chamber music setting, once again transporting us to intermediate mental and spatiotemporal states.
This album features the voices of Nathan Vale and Leslie Winer. Vale is a British tenor and reciter, who specializes in baroque singing. The US musician, poet and artist Winer is almost his counterpart: Jean-Paul Gaultier described her as the first androgynous model, and she has worked with Sinéad O'Connor, Grace Jones and Helmut Lang, among others.
Whereas 'Je suis le Ténébreux' was an artistic interpretation of Gérard de Nerval's poem of the same name, and of the “Enigma of Bologna”, Christopher Chaplin's new album translates John Milton's poem about the descent to hell of fallen angels into epic soundscapes. Nothing is clearly structured - instead we find ourselves in a dreamlike state of limbo. Moments of turbulence transform into musical states that collapse, roam through space, or grow into complex structures. It is a music of dark shimmering poetry that thrives on its own ambiguity (by Heinrich Deisl, 2018).
"I was looking for a particular English quality to the singing in "Paradise Lost". Something in the character of a Benjamin Britten song, sung by Peter Pears - Britten's favourite tenor. I asked a soprano I knew if she could suggest anybody. She gave me a list of 4 or 5 tenors. One of them, Nathan Vale, immediately stood out, and ended up being just perfect.
Leslie Winer and I got in touch after I had discovered her work, and shared some of her tracks on my Facebook page. Unbeknown to me, she had also listened to some of my music which delighted me. We talked about doing a collaboration, and I told her about the "Paradise Lost" project. I sent her 20 minutes of music to which she wrote and performed her own text“ (Christopher Chaplin, 2018)
For Christopher Chaplin's upcoming solo live shows the music is echoed by the projections of visual artists Luma.Launisch – assembled and processed in real time. Watch out for tour dates! picture © Peter Draxl, 2017
|Nov, 20. 2018||-||live @ Vienna Art Week, MAK, Vienna (A)|
|May, 12. 2018||-||XJAZZ Festival @ Berlin, Emmauskirche (D)|
|Apr, 08. 2018||-||w/ Luma.Launisch @ NuSpace, Chengdu (CHINA)|
|Apr, 03. 2018||-||w/ Luma.Launisch @ Yue Space, Beijing (CHINA)|
|Mar, 31. 2018||-||w/ Luma.Launisch @ Loopy, Hangzhou (CHINA)|
|Mar, 30. 2018||-||w/ Luma.Launisch @ Undefine, Shanghai (CHINA)|
|Oct, 08. 2017||-||Solo show @ Galerie Gugging "Special Edition" (A)|
|Aug, 04. 2017||-||w/ Roedelius @ Le Parc de Joséphine Baker (FR)|
|Jul, 09. 2017||-||w/ Stereo Hypnosis @ Extreme Chill Festival (IS)|
|May, 12. 2017||-||Fabrique Labelnight @ RKH, Vienna (A)|