19/01/21

Beverly Glenn-Copeland announces reissue of 1986 seminal work Keyboard Fantasies

Composer Beverly Glenn-Copeland has announced the reissue of his 1986 masterpiece, Keyboard Fantasies. The LP/CD release will be out on April 9th, marking the 35th anniversary of its original release and will feature updated artwork and liner notes by pop star, Robyn. This will be the first time the album has ever been available on CD and both physical formats are available for pre-order today here. Early pre-orders will receive a bonus flexi-disc featuring an unreleased live recording of Old Melody from 1975. 

To mark the occasion, the artist is sharing a new live performance video of Let Us Dance, directed by Posy Dixon. "I am profoundly grateful to all who have supported the music of Keyboard Fantasies during these last years, with special appreciation to my wife Elizabeth," says Glenn. "Though written over thirty years ago, I have listened to your recent musings about the hope the music inspires and the calm it brings, finally understanding that the transmissions sent through me from what I call the Universal Broadcasting System are helping to accomplish the UBS’s purpose, namely that of bringing us together as a single human family at last. For this I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Blessings." Watch the video for Let Us Dance below.

The reissue follows the release of his album, Transmissions: The Music of Beverly Glenn-Copeland. Transmissions was a career-spanning album that includes compositions from his early works including selections from Keyboard Fantasies. It also included both new and archival unreleased tracks and live versions. This collection marked the first new release from Glenn-Copeland since 2004. The New York Times called it a "life-spanning mixtape that moves from the mournful torch songs of his youth to joyously soulful odes to survival. There are dances and dirges, reimagined gospel standards and radiant organ jams. But mostly, there are songs for pressing on, anthems for keeping the faith in yourself."

In 1970, nine years after leaving the United States to study music in Canada, Beverly Glenn-Copeland released two self-titled albums. Both were a stunning showcase of classical and jazz acumen, layered with poetry and accompanied by some of the best players of the time. Original pressings now fetch thousands of dollars. Glenn-Copeland then vanished as a recording artist until his re-emergence in 1986 with the release (just a few hundred copies on cassette) of what many now believe to be his masterpiece, Keyboard Fantasies. Thirty years later, revered Japanese record-collector Ryota Masuko came across one of those cassettes and went on a mission to turn other audiophiles onto Glenn-Copeland’s work and to find the artist himself. 

Word spread and a cult following was quickly amassed. After repeated requests for live performances, Beverly Glenn-Copeland acquiesced, forming a band of young musicians he calls Indigo Rising and playing his first-ever shows in Canada and Europe. Nearly 60 years after he departed the United States, Beverly Glenn-Copeland returned in late 2019 with a performance at MOMA in New York City alongside a short documentary from the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s In the Making series and a screening of feature documentary Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story by Posy Dixon.

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