Black History Month: Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story
Black History Month | Panorama
One of the first queer Black classical music students at McGill University, Beverly Glenn-Copeland initially made music in relative obscurity. Now a practicing Buddhist, and transgender, Glenn is enjoying a welcome late-career renaissance stemming from the rediscovery of his self-released, Atari-generated album, Keyboard Fantasies (1986). Thanks to a Japanese record collector, a younger audience has embraced Copeland’s trailblazing fusion of electronic, folk and classical - which nearly three decades on, has attained cult status among the elite of contemporary electronic music. In every frame of newcomer Posy Dixon’s bright and generous portrait, a gentle and introspective wisdom fills the room, amplifying Glenn’s deep reciprocity for his audience and fellow musicians. Following the screening of Keyboard Fantasies on VIFF Connect is a conversation with Director Posy Dixon and Beverly Glenn-Copeland, recorded at VIFF 2020.
"Ever since I first watched Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Copeland Story, I’ve been carrying Beverly Glenn-Copeland in my heart. The sounds of his third album—also named Keyboard Fantasies—has soundtracked every rainy walk I’ve taken and every early morning writing session. Inspired by the nature outside his Huntsville, Ontario home, the six-track record is meditative and otherworldly; his melancholic voice soars over the synth-y landscape of each song. It’s a shame that we’re just now recognizing his brilliance. […] Though brief, the documentary is a primer on Glenn-Copeland’s remarkable musical life in relative obscurity, tracing his early years in Philadelphia, his gender transition in his 50s, and his rise and touring over the past few years. His generosity of spirit seeps into his music, and the documentary does an excellent job showcasing the person behind the album." Jasmyne Keimig, The Stranger
Copresented with the Vancouver Queer Film Festival
"The kindest film of the year." Andrew F Peirce, The Curb
"To hear Glenn speak about his transness and what it means for him and for his music turns Keyboard Fantasies into a nourishing and mindful lesson." BL Panther, The Spool
"This film, this artist, this music, this story: all rare gems…see this film." Bradley Gibson, Film Threat
Audience Award for a mid-length film, Hot Docs 20
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Please note that VIFF Connect online films can be viewed in British Columbia only.