This is a brief history of the performing ensemble known as the "Cosmic Debris".
In 1976 Friends Records, the local co-op record store across from Oklahoma University, announced the first annual Friends Records Jazz Festival. I was to be held on campus and would have both local and regional acts. When Richard asked who they would have performing "electronic music" he was told by the festival organizer that he didn't know of anyone locally. At this point, Richard volunteered that he had a group and was promptly booked to perform.
To be completely accurate all these years later, the group existed more in concept than in actual practice. Richard had an ARP 2600 synthesizer and an echo unit and he knew of one other person who had reportedly built a Moog synthesizer from scratch. But there was no actual performing ensemble, yet. He immediately went to the shop where this person was working and introduced himself by mentioning that they had a gig and should get together to rehearse.
Cal Grant had in fact built his own synthesizer using Bob Moog's designs as a starting point. The story of it's construction is typical of the kind of adventure that only seems to happen to Cal. But I'll let him tell it...
Richard and Cal performed one tune, titled "Piece One" which lasted about 20 minutes. At the end of the set, there was dead silence for a moment. Richard wasn't sure wither the audience had drifted off to sleep, or if they were just entranced. When the applause started, they realized that the audience had been listening and was appreciative of what they had to offer musically.
The group had performed under the name of "The Contemporary Synthesizer Ensemble" but Richard had thought that much too pretentious. Later that evening, a friend of Richard's said that what the group really was, was cosmic debris.
He explained the NSA tracking of all the junk in orbit left over from space missions to date as well as all the naturally occurring objects in "empty space". This "cosmic debris" was an important source of raw material for study. The name stuck and the Cosmic Debris was established.
Richard Bugg & Cal Grant
Friends Records Jazz Festival, Oklahoma University, Oklahoma.
Opening act for Shawn Phillips@ Prairie Lady music hall in Oklahoma City
Cal:Handmade Moog System III clone
RB: ARP 2600b, Moog 12b, Grant sequencer (16x1 analogue), E-mu modules
1977 July Richard Bugg, Cal Grant, Randy Stark, & Steve McLinn KATT-FM HomeGrown live broadcast (most requested rerun of the series).
1978 Richard Bugg, Steve McLinn & Dennis Borycki
1979 April Richard Bugg (ARP2600, Moog 15b, Flute), Dennis Borycki (Fender
Rhodes, Oberheim FVS, ARP2600), Dave Copenhaver (bass), Jim Hochanadel
(saxophones) & Joel Young (acoustic percussion, drum kit)
1979 April 23, CASSETTE RELEASE:
1. First Debris - Borycki
2. Inner Flight - Borycki
3. Zounds - Hochanadel
4. Portrate of the Universe as a Thursday Afternoon - Bugg
1. Circulation - Borycki
2. Suite Eclipse - Borycki
Instrumentation: Richard Bugg (ARP2600, Moog 15b, Flute), Dennis Borycki (Fender Rhodes, Oberheim FVS, ARP2600), Dave Copenhaver (bass), Jim Hochanadel (saxophones) & Joel Young (acoustic percussion, drum kit)
Richard Bugg, Joel Young, & Shawn Phillips
I had met Shawn when I was working as a sound engineer at the Prairie
Lady in Oklahoma City. Cal Grant and I had even played as an opening act
for Shawn and I became friends with the entire SP crew. When ever they
were close to OKC they used to drop in at the house. When I got the money
together for our first album, the group had gone through several changes.
I asked Shawn if he would mind playing on the album. I thought that having
a famous player on the record would help in getting an album deal. Shawn
agreed and Joel and I went about writing and rehearsing for the album.
1980 December RECORD RELEASE:
1. In the not so still gentleness of the night - R.Bugg / J.Young
2. Danse of the Sines - R.Bugg
Instrumentation: Richard Bugg (ARP2600, Moog 15b, E-mu modules, Flute), Joel Young (acoustic percussion, drum kit), & Shawn Phillips (Guitar & Guitar Synth)
The album name is taken from the echo of the "Big Bang", which is found at 3.7 degrees above absolute zero (3.7 degrees Kelvin). Joel and I recorded the tracks in two days at Media Studios in Oklahoma City. We borrowed a Teac 80-8 half inch eight track and put it in the studio, recorded our parts and then put the studio back in order. All in two days. The master tape was sent to Shawn at his home in Italy. Shawn overdubbed his parts and sent the tape back. We set up a board, tape machine and monitors in my living room and mixed the album.
The first tune on side two, "In the not so still gentleness of the night" has the only vocal part on the album. An announcement by Joel at the front of the track as if it were a radio broadcast - an illusion to the title of the piece.
Richard Bugg, Joel Young, Dennis Borycki, & John Powell
1982 Richard Bugg, Joel Young, Dennis Borycki, John Powell, & Bil Richards
1981 RECORD RELEASE:
"While You're Asleep"
1. While You're Asleep - Richard Bugg
2. Portrait of the Universe as a Thursday Afternoon - Richard Bugg
3. Bema - Dennis Borycki
4. Matriculation - Richard Bugg
1. Five Minute Attack - Dennis Borycki
2. From the Corner of My Mind, part 1 - Richard Bugg
3. Spider Barks at Sun - Dennis Borycki
4. From the Corner of my Mind, part 2 - Richard Bugg
5. The Dance Within - Richard Bugg
6. Distances - Richard Bugg
7. Chason de Dennis - Dennis Borycki
Instrumentation: Richard Bugg (ARP2600, Moog 15b, Flutes), Dennis Borycki (Fender Rhodes, Oberheim FVS, ARP2600), Joel Young (acoustic percussion, drum kit), John Powell (acoustic percussion, vibraphone, marmimba, tabla & drum kit), & Bil Richards (Guitar)
Original Cover Artwork by G.John Dudley
We did our first video at the Oklahoma City Zoo Amphitheatre. It was a live performance and the location recording engineer was Barry Stramp. We shot it on 3/4 in and in the time before MTV about the only place it showed was on the local cable public access channel.
Richard Bugg & Barry Stramp
"On The Shores Of A Different Time"
Richard Bugg / Barry Stramp
Richard & Barry at the Paseo Street Festival, 1985? (photo by Dennis Borycki)
On the Shores of a Different Time 13:10
Ascent of the Tool People 19:52
Arrakis; Desert Planet 9:45
Recorded Live Direct to Digital (Sony PCM-F1) on January 6th and 20th, 1986
Mastered by Barry Stramp
Richard Bugg (ARP 2600b, MOOG sys 12b, MOOG 951 controller, E-mu modular synthesizer, E-mu Drumulator, Emulator 1, Lexicon PCM41, Lexicon M93 Prime Time, Countryman 968 Phase Shifter, MicMix Dynaflanger, Oberheim OBXa, Armstrong Emeritus C Flute, Armstrong G Alto Flute
Barry Stramp (ARP 2600/3604p, ARP 2600/Emu, ARP 1602 Sequencer, Oberheim Obx, Oberheim SEM 1a, Oberheim OB8, Oberheim DSX, Oberheim SEM 1, Lexicon 224v4.2, EMT 251 Reverb, Publison Fullmost, MOOG model D, Artley Wilkins C Flute, AngKlung (Bali))
Richard 1985? photo Dennis Borycki
Richard Bugg, Barry Stramp & Joel Young
1995 Los Angeles
Richard Bugg & Timothy Trujillo
Richard Bugg, Timothy Trujillo, Keith Snyder, Chris Meyer, & Richard
Richard Bugg, Timothy Trujillo, Blake Arnold, Keith Snyder, Chris Meyer, & Richard Zvonar
Chris Meyer, Blake Arnold, Keith Snyder, Richard Zvonar, & Richard Bugg
Richard Bugg, Blake Arnold, Chris Meyer, Keith Snyder, Lucky Westfall, & Richard Zvonar
By the end of 1997 we had recorded over 200 hours of live shows in the Los Angeles area. The next task was to sort through all of that and put together a cd or threes worth of material. In December the selections had been narrowed to 176 cuts. With an average tune length of 11 minutes it was obvious that we had more than one cd worth of material.
Keith leaves the band and gets ready to go to New York City.
Richard Bugg, Blake Arnold, Chris Meyer, Lucky Westfall, & Richard Zvonar
March: Cassette single - Bob Small backed with Urban Garden
August: live recording at Highland Grounds in Hollywood
almost a whole year spent in some kind of time warp… actuarial tables catch up as most all of us are beset by various infirmities - lots of cool outside work and adventures for members of the group.