Labeling Total Unicorn as an EDM group is misleading. Lyman Hardy, Stephen Fishman, and Lindsey Taylor are accomplished performers that combine art and music in an updated and stunning explosion of performance art for the new millennium.
Music is infinite. Total Unicorn incorporates music into performance much like an orchestra that plays with a ballet. There are so many aspects of music to learn that Hardy and Fishman are hard-pressed to list all they still would like to master. Hardy says, “I don’t know really what I want to learn until I run up against something I don’t know that I wish I knew better.” They embrace opportunities to discover something new, whether it is technique or technology that presents itself along the way.
Genre does not define the music. EDM started as one genre and, like other genres, has now split and divided into sub-genres of music. So what exactly is EDM? Fishman describes it as, “Speaking generally about the genre, it seems people are always coming up with these new sub-genres that combine new elements… It seems like it could endlessly mutate.” There are endless variations, many that have yet to be realized that can be classified as another sub-genre of EDM. However, as exciting as it is to see EDM grow, the sub-genres can also create limits in the expectations of the audience. Total Unicorn encompasses free expression and will continue to thrill fans with a plethora of elements (and a few surprises) that they have become known for.
In one moment, a dream is realized. Musical achievement for Total Unicorn can be measured in a single performance, but in reality is a part of every performance. With a strict plan for each show, Total Unicorn delights in the individual and ever-changing energy of the crowd. Fishman explains, “We are not always that spontaneous, because everything is super planned out and scripted. So, when there is some live energy, for me, that is kind of the best—the biggest accomplishment.” Due to the technical requirements of their performances, it is necessary to plan well in advance, yet when the audience responds, it creates a vibe that drives both performer and listener.
Total Unicorn is not just EDM, it is new age performance art that allows the listener to experience the music with eyes, as well as ears. They will continue to play regional shows in their native Texas, as well as planning new videos and an exciting premiere of new pieces at South By this year. I have come to view Total Unicorn as my escape from normal. Thirty seconds in and I am transported to a fantasy world that allows my imagination to run wild. A break with Total Unicorn is a welcome respite that you will love as much as I do.