Pace Gallery has unveiled an NFT art project that will include previously unheard Joy Division vocal samples. The project was created in collaboration with the influential English rock band’s drummer Stephen Morris, album artist Peter Saville, and the official Joy Division Archive.
The “CP1919” series from the gallery’s Pace Verso division, which spans two NFT drops, features a soundtrack created by Morris as well as archival vocal samples from late Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis.
The project also expands upon the iconic Saville cover art from Joy Division’s seminal album “Unknown Pleasures,” which was released by Factory Records in 1979. The title of the NFT series comes from the name of the original pulse of the collapsed star that inspired the album artwork.
A still image from the animated “CP1919: Sweeping Sun White 2023” artwork. Image: Pace Verso
“CP1919” will feature animated 3D imagery by Saville, the multidisciplinary artist who created artwork for both Joy Division and succeeding band New Order (formed by the surviving members of Joy Division) between 1979 and 1993.
“CP1919: Sweeping Sun Black 2023” will be a unique, one-of-one NFT that features both imagery and a soundtrack that will never be made available to the public. The winner of the Pace Verso-hosted auction will receive one-of-a-kind “experiential artwork” on a commemorative hard drive in a unique slipcase.
Meanwhile, “CP1919: Sweeping Sun White 2023” will be an open edition NFT that includes an “auditory component” featuring the newly-discovered sound samples. Owners will also be able to claim a free t-shirt, with each one corresponding to their NFT. The project will be released on October 9 for $100 per edition, with buyers able to pay using crypto or credit card.
A percentage of proceeds from all “CP1919” artwork sales will be donated to suicide prevention charity CALM in memory of Curtis, who took his own life in 1980.
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Pace Gallery has also shared a filmed interview between Morris, Saville, and Joy Division fan and renowned physicist Brian Cox. The film reveals that the “CP1919” vocal samples include two phrases from the live version of Joy Division’s “Atrocity Exhibition,” the opening song on their second and final album, “Closer.” The recordings had never been released.
“I lucked out that I found a bit of Ian that probably nobody had heard before,” said Morris. He also used the original pulse of the collapsed star to create the music.
“I am chilled by it whenever I hear it,” added Saville.