Xopher Davidson began his experiments in electronic sound from a basis in painting, film, and installation art, mixed with a long-time interest in electronics. While in primary school he learned to construct simple circuits, removing the components from old televisions and playing with step-up transformers. In 1985 the naively extremist project Jesus Wept was formed by James Chandler, John Hong, Will B. Gavin, and Davidson, beginning an era of tape manipulation. An electronic side project with James Chandler resulted in the (in)famous cassette release, Climatron. While attending school in Richmond, Virginia, Davidson completed the short black and white films Hess and Positioning Device, significant for its soundtrack of modulated full-frequency noise. He also started work on the trilogy of recorded sound pieces titled "Reflector," "Primer," and "Number," which was completed in 1990. Also during this period, Davidson performed with the noise fusion group 45-102, demonstrating an advanced position on sound in one public appearance. Presenting his work in numerous shows, he co-curated a major infrastructuralist show at the Henry Street Gallery. Davidson received a BFA degree in painting and sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1991.
In 1992, Davidson rode the train to Oakland, California, where he founded the seminal Exhibit < > space. In this storefront location (situated adjacent to a freeway onramp), he presented an ongoing installation of signs and diagrams which his paintings had evolved into. Listening here to the rumblings of the overhead freeway, it became obvious that the issue of sound needed to be (re)addressed. A year later, Davidson began work at the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College in Oakland, California. Here he performed and recorded sound in many forms, presenting three concerts of electronic music while working on his MFA. At this same time, Davidson constructed a trilogy of experimental 16mm films at CCAC’s film studios, to be overlayed with sound developed at the CCM recording studio. As a member of the live electronic groups Citizen Band and Circular Firing Squad, he performed extensively in and around the San Francisco Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest. Davidson continues to collaborate with David Kwan performing their audio visual presentations, a mixture of order and decay, and are currently working on a series of DVD translations.
As an audio engineer, Davidson has worked on projects by/ for: The-Allies, John Cage, Marcel Duchamp, Diamanda Galas, Jhno, Zbigniew Karkowski, Lloop, Once 11, Hannah Marcus, Paul D. Miller, Mix Master Mike, Pepito, Phoenecia, The Soft Pink Truth, Jonah Sharp, Otto Von Schirach, Subtropic, Themselves, Tipsy, We, and Iannis Xenakis, to name a few.
In 1999 Davidson released the antimatter recording Transfixion on the Artifact label. In 2001 he released the influential infrasonic recording, Function Generator, in collaboration with Zbigniew Karkowski, on Portugal’s Sirr.records. His 2003 release for asphodel antimatter vs. antimatter sounds the depths of 15 years of his experiments with recording, leading the concept of remixing into an unknown expanse. Davidson continues to conduct experiments in sound and image in his backyard workshop, The Treatment Center.
Asphodel / ASP 0966 / 1995