Holcombe Waller is a singer, composer, and performance artist. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon, but he is truly a global citizen, performing across the United States and Europe.
Something of an indie darling, Waller's albums have been reviewed favorably by magazines like Spin and REVOLVER. In fact, REVOLVER writer Ann Powers has described his work as nothing short of epic: "for melodic sweep, the prize goes to Holcombe Waller, whose self-released Extravagant Gesture is a small pop epic."
In addition to producing albums, Waller also creates commissions for multidisciplinary performances and dance and film scores. His November 2014 performance at the MCA, Wayfinders, was one such commission.
It would be difficult to sum up the evocative work in a single sentence, so we're reproducing the performance synopsis here:
In the distant future, a spacecraft travels at faster-than-light speeds toward the edge of space. It is one of tens of thousands of ships launched without specific destination in an effort to preserve humanity. The ship is a transhuman collective consisting of the minds of five human passengers, who are connected directly to the body of the ship. An intelligent autonavigator program both operates the ship and provides a stream of mind chatter for the collective’s focus. Of the five passengers, only three remain physically alive. Two deceased passengers live on as disembodied identity records within the ship’s consciousness system. The status of the ship’s energy systems require that a third passenger will soon die and the autonavigator must pause the engines to upload and save the last, most subtle mind of the dying passenger.