ULTRAsomething, located in beautiful downtown Vancouver Canada, is the online presence for composer, sound designer, writer and photographer, grEGORy simpson.
Mr. Simpson’s musical passion arrived early in life. It consumed the hours in which healthy children normally swing from playground apparatuses. It even dictated his decision to study electrical engineering, in hopes of one day becoming an electronic musical instrument designer — something that (surprisingly) actually happened. He was a successful sound designer in the 80’s; a composer, producer, and musician with his bands, Grace Darling and Bartholomew Fair in the 90’s; and a working composer for film, dance, and the web throughout the decades.
The photographic component of Mr. Simpson’s media-centric oeuvre began over 25 years ago, during the age of film, chemicals and the darkroom. Impatient for the future to arrive and permanently queasy from late night printing sessions in an unventilated darkroom, Mr. Simpson stopped wet printing and became an early proponent of digital imaging. Even before the commercial availability of digital cameras, he was scanning film with the very first Nikon Coolscan (LS-10) and processing images with what was then a rather obscure program, called Photoshop. In 2001, though perhaps a bit premature, he ditched his last film camera and went completely digital.
Today, somewhat disgruntled by the way the future panned out and weary of the clinical precision of digital photography, Mr. Simpson no longer relies solely on digital cameras and has re-engaged with film and re-adopted his old hybrid workflow. In a similar vein, peeved by the paucity of tactile control over software-based synthesis, Mr. Simpson has also returned to the halcyon days in which synthesizers were comprised of numerous discreet modules festooned with knobs, dials and a tangle of cables to connect them all.
Though such technical arcs may appear schizophrenic to the casual observer, Mr. Simpson obviously prefers to consider his practices to be a method, rather than a madness. For example, his inclusionary approach to all photographic techniques and technologies extends to his choice of subject as well. At various times, Mr. Simpson has gained respect as a portrait photographer, architectural photographer, landscape photographer and “street” photographer. But in reality, Mr. Simpson is none of these things. He is, and always has been, simply a “photographer.” Any other label applied to his work is completely out of his control.