Get ready to meet a new queer music legend, in a visual lullaby to soothe the soul in chaotic times. Available to rent on QFT Player from Monday 16 to Sunday 22 November, as part of Outburst Queer Arts Festival.
Narrowly escaping hospitalisation for being lesbian in 1960s Philadelphia, classically trained Beverly Copeland fled to Canada where they became immersed in the emerging folk-jazz scene. Talented but still unsuccessful after a few albums, they lived for many years as a near recluse. In 1986, sci-fi obsessed Copeland wrote and self-released Keyboard Fantasies, a seven-track cassette recorded in an Atari-powered home studio with a curious folk-electronica hybrid sound that was way ahead of its time.
It remained in obscurity until three decades later when the musician – now Glenn Copeland – started getting emails from people across the world, thanking him for the deeply affecting music they’d recently discovered. Courtesy of a rare-record collector in Japan, a reissue of Keyboard Fantasies and plays by Four Tet, the music finally found a cult audience two generations down the line, including fans like The xx and Courtney Barnett.
Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story sees Glenn commit his story and his music to screen for the first time, in an intimate portrait that spins the pain of prejudice into beauty and hope. Half aural-visual history, half DIY tour-video, the film comes hot on the heels of Transmissions, a career retrospective album released in September 2020 that’s set to bring this gentle and joyful musical pioneer to a much-deserved wider audience.