Christopher Willits

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Christopher Willits
20140906-christopher-willits opening-release.jpg
Christopher Willits in 2014
Background information
Born (1978-04-08) April 8, 1978 (age 39)
Origin Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Years active 1993–present
Associated acts

Christopher Willits (born April 8, 1978) is an American musician, multimedia artist, filmmaker and record producer located in San Francisco. His music is electroacoustic in nature, in that both analogue and digital sounds are meshed into one singular sound.


Willits completed a master's degree in electronic music at Mills College.[1]

Willits, as a solo artist or in collaboration, has released music on the following record labels: 12k (USA), Ghostly International (USA), Fällt (Ireland), Sub Rosa (Belgium), Nibble Records (USA), Ache Records (Canada), Yacca (Japan) and Plop (Japan). He has toured throughout Europe, America, China and Japan.[1]

Willits has participated in numerous projects, including collaborations with Ryuichi Sakamoto,[2] Zach Hill (drummer from the band Hella), Miguel Depedro (Kid606), Brad Laner (Medicine), Nate Boyce, Latrice Barnett (singer/songwriter and bassist for Handsome Boy Modeling School), Taylor Deupree (12k record label founder), Scott Pagano (visual artist and motion graphics designer), Matmos.[3] Willits is also the founder and director of the record label and community building organization Overlap.


Willits' guitar lines and harmonies are folded into each other using custom-designed software (Willits uses the term "folding" to describe the non-linear, real-time indexing, cutting and re-sampling of guitar and voice).[4]

Willits, in an interview, further expanded on the term 'folding,' "It has a lot to do with time. I actually wrote a whole thesis about this, if you want to go to the Mills library and check it out [laughs]. It's a very simple process of recording something to memory and then indexing at different points. But instead of it being a granular process [a form of synthesis in which a sample is separated into 'grains'], I'm actually skating to different locations within this memory. So there's this continuous rupture of time that creates these rhythmic patterns, so these melodic patterns start to emerge out of this time processing technique."[4]


Willits regularly gives workshops on the creative process and his custom software. He hosted a video series on XLR8R entitled "What You Talkin' Bout, Willits?"[5] in which he delved into techniques of making music with a laptop and being a professional musician.


Willits uses Ableton Live, Max for Live, and Touch Designer for video processing.[4][edit]

Christopher Willits participates in a couple prominent online communities for musicians. One being [6] which is involved in creative community building events.[4]


  • Opening (Ghostly International) – 2014[7]
  • GOLD (Overlap) – 2011
  • Live on Earth – Vol. 3 (self-released) – 2011
  • Tiger Flower Circle Sun (Ghostly International) – 2010
  • Live on Earth – Vol. 2 (self-released) – 2009
  • Live on Earth – Vol. 1 (self-released) – 2009
  • Plants and Hearts (Room40) – 2007
  • Surf Boundaries (Ghostly International) – 2006
  • Little Edo (Nibble) – 2004
  • Pollen (Fallt) – 2003
  • Folding, and the Tea (12k) – 2002
  • :plateaus, centers, stoma... (self-released CDR) – 2001
  • storks and wires (self-released CDR) – 2000


  • Various artists – Idol Tryouts (Ghostly International) – 2006
  • Various artists – SMM vol.2 – Breathe in Seven Sections (Ghostly International) – 2004
  • Various artists – E*A*D*G*B*E – Seven Machines For Summer (12k) – 2003

Collaborations and band projects[edit]

  • Willits + Sakamoto (Christopher Willits and Ryuichi Sakamoto) – "Ocean Fire" (Commmons/12k) – 2008
  • Christopher Willits + Taylor Deupree – Listening Garden (Line) – 2007
  • The North Valley Subconscious Orchestra – The Right Kind of Nothing (Ghostly International) – 2006
  • Christopher Willits + Taylor Deupree – Live in Japan 2004 (12k) – 2005
  • Flössin – Lead Singer (Ache Records, Yacca) – 2004
  • Christopher Willits + Taylor Deupree – Mujo (Plop) – 2004
  • Christopher Willits + Taylor Deupree – AS08 (Sub Rosa, Audiosphere) – 2003
  • Saturn 138 (HWTBL) – 1998


  1. ^ a b Andy Kellman. "Christopher Willits – Music Biography, Streaming Radio and Discography – AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Willits + Sakamoto". PopMatters. Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Christopher Willits & Ryuichi Sakamoto: Ocean Fire burns on 12k". Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d "INTERVIEW: CHRISTOPHER WILLITS The Secret Life Of A Beach Boy – themilkfactory". Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  5. ^ "What You Talkin' Bout Willits !? Tutorials". CHRISTOPHER WILLITS. Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Case Studies/Christopher Willits". Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Christopher Willits Announces 'OPENING' Visual Album". Retrieved November 10, 2014. 

External links[edit]