MATRIXSYNTH: RIP Jean-Jacques Perrey 1929-2016

Friday, November 04, 2016

RIP Jean-Jacques Perrey 1929-2016

The image to the left may be a little blurry, but it comes from the one time I actually got to see Jean-Jacques Perrey live with Dana Countryman, back in 2006. I took that photo. That was one of the rare times I could sum up an experience in one word: magical. Well maybe two: magical, and joyful. That may sound cliche to some, but it is 100% accurate, and I do have to say, with the absolute upmost respect, Jean-Jacques Perrey (and Dana Countryman) put on one of the funnest shows I've been too. The man brought absolute joy to life. When I was a kid I had no idea I was listening to his tunes while watching Disneland's Main Street Electrical parade! He was a pioneer of electronic music that brought humor and playfulness to his music throughout his career. I still remember his pet elephant (you'll need to go through numerous posts here on MATRIXSYNTH to find it. :) As you'll see his presence influenced many posts here on MATRIXSYNTH over the years. His main instrument was the Ondes Martenot.

Image credit: Mal Meehan, in via Dana Countryman, who had the following to say (Update: you can find his full words here - do take the time to read it for a fascinating bit of synth history):

"My dear friend and mentor Jean Jacques Perrey passed away today, November 4th, 2016. His illness came on quickly, and he did not suffer long, for which I’m happy. I’m extremely sad that I’ll never see him again, but I have been playing some of his happiest music today, and it immediately cheered me up. I know that’s what he would want --- for everyone to be happy, and not to be sad."

He will be missed, but his music and memories will continue to bring joy to people for years to come. He brought so much joy to the world. Thank you Jean-Jacques Perrey!

Update: Dana Countryman wrote a longer piece on Jean-Jacques Perrey here. Do take the time to read it. From that piece:

"For those who don’t realize it, Jean-Jacques rst started recording electronic music in 1952, long before the Moog synthesizer was rst made for sale in 1967. Relocating from Paris to New York City, JJ actu- ally owned and recorded with the second Moog ever produced, and with his musical partner Gershon Kingsley, they released their rst Moog album -- almost two years before Wendy Carlos released her rst Moog album. Jean-Jacques was truly the pioneer of popular electronic music.

His crazy, happy music has been heard everywhere from commercials, to Sesame Street - in hip-hop songs, in dance remixes and most famously, for decades in the delightful featured music in Disneyland’s 'Main Street Electrical Parade'. In recent years, his music has even made appearances on the Simpsons, and on Comedy Central’s 'South Park'."

Update2: one more sent my way via @bronwenjones:

Jean-Jacques Perrey & Dana Countryman - Funky Little Spacegirl - Music Video

Uploaded on Jan 19, 2009 mee3d

"View a High quality version here -

Celebrating 80 years of Jean-Jacques Perrey's Legendary Happy Electropop Music here is the Music Video for "Funky Little Spacegirl", released from the new album with Dana Countryman 'Destination Space'. Available on Oglio Records. Music Video Created by Mal Meehan from mee3d"

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