Japanese avant-garde improvisation collective, Marginal Consort, will make their debut in Germany with a 3-hour concert held at St. Elisabeth Kirche, Berlin. In a fully immersive installation that integrates sound, space and motion, audience members will experience different aural perspectives as they physically weave through the performance and performers, who are positioned separately within the vast and dramatic setting. Only the start and end times of the concert are fixed; the structure and direction of the performance remain open and in flux, permitting temporary shifts, accidental influences and flexibility throughout.
Founded in 1997, Marginal Consort is a collective of sound and visual artists currently composed of improvisational artist Kazuo Imai, musician and sound artist Tomonao Koshikawa, engineer and sound installation artist Kei Shii, and photographer and installation artist Masami Tada. All of the group’s members studied under Takehisa Kosugi—composer and violinist of the Fluxus movement—at Bigaku School of Aesthetics in Tokyo in the 1970s. The collective evolved in the vein of Kosugi’s experimental ensembles: Group Ongaku and Taj Mahal Travellers Projects.
Their extensive performances are a continuous exploration of the potential of sound—its different forms and manifestations, its production and performative modes—that do not culminate in musical composition as such, but produce dynamic exchange between group members as they connect varied sounds in unexpected ways. Articulating sound as a phenomenon that is experienced subjectively, they employ improvisation to conceptualize openness within structural formations and relationships, as opposed to closed systems. Distinctions between music and sound, performance art and concert, dissolve and a sense of fluidity manifests through sustained, composited and fractured movements in time and space. Marginal Consort plays only one concert per year, making their performances a rare and indelible experience.