Christopher Willes is an artist and composer based in Toronto. He makes music, exhibitions, performance works, and writes about contemporary art. With a particular interest in listening, Christopher’s practice investigates the situations of music and sound across a wide variety of media and contexts, reflecting on notions of perception, place, historical memory, collectivity, and compassion. Trained in music, his projects are often collaborative and informed by an interest in open-ended group processes, drawing on influences from the visual arts, dance, musicology, architecture, and literature. The social life of sound - its capacity to mark the spaces between us, and yet simulate or pre-produce something not yet here - is an ongoing area of interest in his work.
His recent projects have been presented at The Art Gallery of Ontario, 8-11 Gallery, the Music Gallery, Summerworks Festival, Intersite Visual Arts Festival, the Rhubarb Festival, and Cluster Festival. Recent collaborations include Listening Choir with Adam Kinner, Antigone Dead People with Small Wooden Shoe presented at Sound Live Tokyo, and Rehearsal / Performance with Ame Henderson at The Art Gallery of Ontario.
For the past decade he has been continually active working in choreography and experimental theatre as a sound-maker and dramaturge. From 2011-2015 he maintained an ongoing collaboration with Dancemakers in Toronto. He now works often with the Toronto based collective Public Recordings as well many independent artists, including recent projects with Ame Henderson, Urbanvessel, Small Wooden Shoe, Meryem Alaoui, Evan Webber, Julia Male, Jordan Tannahill, Benjamin Kamino, Ellen Furey, Adam Kinner, Clara Furey, and Noémie Solomon.
In 2016 he received a Chalmers Arts Fellowship, and was a MacDowell Colony Fellow (NH USA). In 2017 he will be a resident artist at the Toronto Public Library, as well as winter artist-in-residence at Gibraltar Point, Toronto. He studied music at the University of Toronto, dramaturgy at Dancemakers Centre for Creation, and holds an MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College (NY, USA).