Discovering Beverly Glenn-Copeland
This weekend a documentary telling the tale of Beverly Glenn-Copeland – a “time-travelling, transgender musical genius” adored by the likes of Four Tet, Caribou and others – premieres at The Barbican, and next week on 6 November Colston Hall Presents his first live show in Bristol at St George’s.
But for the first four decades of his career, Copeland’s incredibly unique output – blending synth-experimentation, Detroit techno, minimalistic ambience and the structures of traditional songwriting – went unnoticed. So the question, as Caribou asked, is: “How could music that beautiful have been forgotten for so long?”
Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story, tells the time-travelling tale of this mystical musician and vocalist, as the present finally catches up with him and he embarks on his first international tour at the age of 74. Watch the trailer below.
As a sci-fi obsessed woman living in near isolation, Beverly Glenn-Copeland wrote and self-released Keyboard Fantasies in Huntsville, Ontario back in 1986. Recorded in an Atari-powered home-studio, the cassette featured seven tracks of a curious folk-electronica hybrid, a sound realised far before its time.
Three decades on, the musician – now Glenn Copeland – began to receive emails from people across the world, thanking him for the music they’d recently discovered. Courtesy of a
rare-record collector in Japan, a reissue of Keyboard Fantasies and subsequent plays by Four Tet, Caribou and more, the music had finally found its audience two generations down the line.
Capturing five decades of relentless musical output and shifting manifestations of gender and sexual identity set against a backdrop of profound social change, the film celebrates the
unpredictable rhythms of life.
“This is the generation that I was writing music for, and my purpose now is to encourage them. And tell them: ‘how magnificent y’all are.’ “– Beverly Glenn-Copeland
Emerging from years in isolation to an enraptured crowd, this genre-defying musician has finally found his place in the world, singing a lullaby to soothe those souls struggling to find theirs.
And now it’s your chance to find him.
Beverly-Glenn Copeland performs at St. George’s Bristol on Wednesday 6 November. Click below for more info and to buy tickets.
“When I heard Keyboard Fantasies the impact was instant… It was truly healing to listen to. I’m thrilled to see Glenn tell his story.”
“We have to go to the record store, find a new tag ‘medicinal’ and put Keyboard Fantasies under there.”
– Devendra Banhart