The soundscape-oriented work of Thomas Watkiss explores themes of isolation and distance through ambient soundscapes and is focused on presenting itself in the form of short-run records and rare performances.
After a lengthy period outside of the United States to live work and study in Scandinavia, Watkiss took up residence in Boston to begin recording on what became the ANCESTOR series starting with a 7” vinyl release and followed with an ambitious 2xLP production titled Silence After a summer return to Norway in 2008, Watkiss finally relocated to New York City to begin follow-up with ANCESTOR II : Machine (view and listen to both in bandcamp here).
In the spring of 2009 while living in a studio on Ave A in Manhattan, Watkiss decided to turn attention to what would become WHOTE, a project centered around the guitar which saw light of day as a vinyl-only release Align in 2010. This album was released in Europe while on tour to support Amber Asylum, Alos and Diskrepant that same year.
WHOTE also brought with it a specific series of art, primarily screen prints, in which provide a vivid illustration for the circular and voiceless music. Materials printed included posters, apparel, and LP inserts were issued in 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2015.
Watkiss wrote and produced a video for WHOTE entitled MOONS which featured New York City and the surrounding Jacob Riis National Park as a setting which frames became the album cover art for the full-length. The video explores further insight into the artists' mind and shows the film-like sequence of events that became iconography for the ultimate record formats. The video can be seen here.
Earlier background: He earned an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies at Konstfack in Stockholm as well as a dual BA in Art and Art History from the University of Pittsburgh. As an undergraduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, he spent several semesters abroad for self-directed “immersive learning” scholarships in Olso, London and the Amazon basin--in high season.
His earliest career efforts as an artist began as a large-surface painter, working on parallel themes of abstraction and the environment. It was after a series of experiences in Scandinavia that Thomas returned to sound to apply similar themes with instruments and filed recordings as as key materials.
He has most recently completed a residency in the North of Iceland and lives and works in New York City. He is currently working on new material for a special studio date at BC Studios later this summer. Please follow the above links for further details as they become public.
Interests in obtaining a portfolio, a studio visit, formal cv, discography, etc., can be obtained here.