Sunight aims for max chill at Public Works

Electronic music lovers looking for a change of pace are going to love Christopher Willits’ new, super-chill Sunight gathering Sunday evening in the upstairs loft at Public Works in the Mission.

Mellow vibes are the running theme of the event, which features sets by Willits, Manitouse and Snuise, backed by adventurously relaxing edibles and drink, aromatherapy and a surround sound, ambisonic environment.

Bernal Heights-based ambient electronic music producer Willits says he wanted to throw a different kind of night for his artist collective, dubbed Overlap — a party not focused on debauchery.

“So much of going out is based around drinking,” said Willits, recently sipping tea at Cafe St. George on Mission Street, looking out on the morning traffic with his piercing eyes and wearing a producer’s scruff, blue Pumas, tan corduroy jeans, a puffy jacket and a black knit scarf.

“We wanted to remove that drinking energy and replace it with more creativity and connection, a place for the community,” he says. “It’s for people who want to change it up a little.”

Willits is known for his guitar-focused ambient electronic soundscapes, which he combines with lush, abstract visuals during performances. The Kansas City, Mo., native came to the Bay Area in 2000 on a painting scholarship, then obtained a master’s degree in electronic music at Mills College.

Along the way, he picked up photography, cinematography and new media.

His Ghostly International releases include the 2006 album “Surf Boundaries” and 2010’s “Tiger Flower Circle Sun.” His 2012 collaboration with pianist-composer Ryuichi Sakamoto yielded the cerebral, sleepy jazz release “Ancient Future.” He also has worked with Matmos, Zach Hill and Taylor Deupree.

For Sunday’s set, Willits is at work on new pieces for voice and guitar that use surround-sound technology. He’ll tease a little of his upcoming August album on Ghostly, he says.

“I’m so excited about this record, man,” he says. “I’ve been trying out sections of it in recent shows and it really helped me understand how it will be in the final form.”

Willits heads out on tour this summer, aiming for Europe, Japan, and maybe Australia and China again. He hopes to make Sunight a regular feature in The City.

“I’m always optimistic that people will use music more as a medicine,” he says.


Christopher Willits

Headlining Sunight with Manitouse and Snuise

Where: Public Works, 161 Erie St., S.F.

When: 7 p.m. Sunday

Tickets: $5 to $7

Contact: (415) 779-6757,

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