‘Keyboard Fantasies’ review: Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s inspired life

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Criminally unappreciated in the 1970s and ’80s when they were first recorded, and rediscovered many years later by file collectors and tunes enthusiasts, the tunes of people-electronica singer and songwriter Beverly Glenn-Copeland arrived in current a long time like transmissions from the previous — as if sonic acts of appreciate experienced traversed time and room with their craving melodies and syncopated rhythms, seeking for the viewers they were being intended to obtain.

Exhilarating as the Canadian American musician’s late bloom has been to the new music globe, the full photo of his lifetime, as captured tenderly by filmmaker Posy Dixon in “Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Tale,” is even much more poignant and remarkable. (Built in 2019, the film is now in theaters and on digital and VOD by using Greenwich Leisure.)

From his childhood in a Black center-class Quaker loved ones in 1940s Philadelphia, in which his father played classical piano and his mom sang spirituals, to the bigotry that later led to his leaving college in Montreal, in which he was not nonetheless dwelling authentically in his trans identity, “Keyboard Fantasies” tracks Glenn-Copeland’s evolution as a result of his very own memories, audio and gregarious sit-down interviews.

Voices from his past testify to the lots of methods the planet, for a great deal of his daily life, hadn’t been all set for another person like him — a singular artist impossible to fit into any one box. Music from his 1st two self-titled albums recorded in 1970, this sort of as the plaintive “Colour of Anyhow,” situation Glenn-Copeland musically between the people-jazz scene of the era and reflect the themes of adore, discomfort and light that marked his early songs. But it would not be until after failing to acquire traction in the industry that he’d report the album commonly viewed as his masterwork.

Inviting the digital camera into his residence in rural Canada, the place he life with his spouse and children surrounded by the mother nature that conjures up him, Glenn-Copeland, 77, scrolls as a result of the 2015 electronic mail that adjusted every thing: a message from Japanese tunes collector Ryota Masuko, who experienced stumbled across the musician’s “Keyboard Fantasies” album, at first self-produced on cassette in 1986, and needed to know if there was any surviving stock.

A man seated in a chair in the documentary "Keyboard Fantasies."

Beverly Glenn-Copeland in the documentary “Keyboard Fantasies.”

(Greenwich Entertainment)

Soon need for Glenn-Copeland’s recordings led to reissues of his early work and “Keyboard Fantasies,” recorded on a Yamaha DX-7 and Roland TR-707 in his home studio, immediately made him a cult icon. Quickly embraced by an global viewers in his elder many years, Glenn-Copeland — who also wrote for “Sesame Street” and worked on the common Canadian children’s Tv clearly show “Mr. Dressup” — discovered himself offered with a new unexpected path.

In that, he claims, he found function. “Keyboard Fantasies” follows as he embarks on the biggest tour of his existence, participating in reveals in Europe and Canada with a backing band of younger musicians with whom he shares a vibe of expansive creativity and mutual adoration. (On the new release “Keyboard Fantasies Reimagined,” artists like Bon Iver and Blood Orange revisit and rework tracks from the initial album.) In their demonstrates, new shades of which means and inspiration emerge in Glenn-Copeland songs like “Ever New,” “Sunset Village” and the non secular “Deep River.”

And past Glenn-Copeland’s magnetic onstage existence and prosperous, sonorous, nevertheless-flawless vocals, it is the candid times in which he dances to the music, riffs on spontaneous beats in concerning sets and shares foods on the sidewalk with his young bandmates that leave a hopeful grace note on Glenn-Copeland’s legacy. (For even more viewing, look for out the 2017 short documentary “The Lake Sutra” by Naomi Okabe.)

“Find the individuals who will notify you how cherished you are,” Glenn-Copeland suggests in an emotional second of clarity and gratitude, obtaining at last found the willing ears and open hearts his tunes experienced been looking for. “Find a exercise that will tell you how valuable you are … which is not uncomplicated, but it’s attainable.”

‘Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story’

Not rated

Working time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Actively playing: Laemmle Glendale also out there on electronic and VOD