Last Thursday and Friday (July 26-27) were the “electronic music” days at the the 12th Annual Outsound New Music Summit in San Francisco, CA (July 31-27). I attended both days.
The last act on the second day was the most fun of the two days. It was the only time the audience clapped wildly and shouted for more!!
I was outside chatting with some musicians before the last act on the second day, when we heard some very interesting loud sounds and rushed in to hear Fuzzy Bunny. The previous group, PMOCATAT Ensemble, had been quiet.
Fuzzy Bunny is “a high-powered electronic improvisation and composition trio consisting of Chris Brown, Scot Gresham-Lancaster and Tim Perkis. All-out “carnallectual” electronic improv, rocky-roaded with pop-music fragments and sonic gags define some kind of new style, difficult to describe. Edwin Pouncey in The Wire called them “a total meltdown of the senses…a trio of smartarses with nothing to say.”
The performance was a reunion for the group, who had not played together for 10 years.
I had seen all of the electronic musicians members of Fuzzy Bunny perform many times – Chris Brown, Tim Perkis, and Scot Gresham-Lancaster, but never as Fuzzy Bunny. Tim had recently returned from a 6 month music residency in France. Scot had moved to Dallas, TX last year and was back to the Bay Area for a visit.
Chris Brown, Professor of Music and Co-Director of the Center for Contemporary Music (CCM) at Mills College in Oakland, Calif., was the ringleader. I had only seen him doing electronic music sitting in front of a laptop or conducting a group. Friday night he was standing up and moving around like a DJ!
Chris played excerpts from popular music, including “Heard it from the Grapevine”, Beatles tunes, and lots of other songs I can’t remember. I think I heard a short clip of Arnold Schwartzenegger speaking from one of his action movies. Of course, they all improvised wildly on the excerpts. For you techies, he was playing an Alesis Photon X-25 that looked well used and using Supercollider software.
Tim Perkis was in the middle of the group, in his usual role of sitting quietly at his laptop, contributing sounds from his custom electronic music software.
Scot Gresham-Lancaster was playing electric guitar and also moving to the music. Just before they were scheduled to start playing, he discovered the neck of his guitar was broken. He borrowed a guitar from David Molina, the first performer of the evening. But, he was not able to operate his pedal board with his feet, so he used one hand. The only other time I saw a guitar player doing that was Nels Cline (Wilco) last year performing in Oakland, CA. But, Nels only did it occasionally during his performance. Scot made some very interesting sounds. The Show Must Go On!!
What does this mean? I guess all of us, including electronic musicians, love to hear our favorite music with a good DJ and a guitar player!!
Disclosure: I am not an electronic musician, but have played with one for three years in my Ear Spray band, Carlos Jennings.
Click here see what electronic music guru, Amar Chaudhary, said on his blog about the two days (and the other days of the event), plus lots more info on the performers’ other music endeavours and other famous people they have played with:
For more details on the Summit and the artists, go to