These four musicians come with enough instruments for an orchestra; some are acoustic, some are electronic, and quite a few are of the artists’ own invention. For three hours they make ambient, heavily manipulated music, far apart and fully independent of each other. It’s a sonic adventure, with the audience as liberated as the performers. Listeners are free to sit, lie down or move around as they see fit—in fact, changes in position are encouraged, because different positions in the space can bring radically different experiences.
From their first show in 1997 until quite recently, Marginal Consort performed only once a year; for them, lack of rehearsal equals freedom from constraint. Few artists are as resistant to definition as these ones; boundaries and categories mean nothing to them, and when they play, it’s as totally liberated musicians. This evening is, quite literally, a once in a lifetime experience: the music has never been played before and it will never be played again.
[The music of Marginal Consort] raises important questions about the whole project of improvisation: the relationships between the musicians and the definition of musicality. —The Japan Times