The Electric Chair - Printable Version
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The Electric Chair - nigelgatherer - 14-06-2010 09:19 AM
I had a great time at Bruchsal, Germany at the Eurofest, a plucked-string music festival which lasts four days. I particularly followed the mandolin orchestras, and studied and listened intently to many ensembles from all over the world.
However, it was a smaller Japanese group called The Electric Chair which was the highlight for me. Their music could be described as minimal, in a very Japanese, very "Zen"-like way. I saw them twice: once on a huge concert stage, and they just stunned the audience. For their first piece, they had four on stage, and two mandolinists playing from the back of the audience. After each piece, they rearranged themselves, some going off stage, others simply changing seats. They didn't use any music, and they wore fantastic costumes. At the end of each composition they were still for up to twenty seconds, letting the last strains of music evaporate, then they relaxed and we knew it was time to applaud.
The second time was at the same open-air stage where I performed, and while it was still them, they just didn't have the same impact. Space was limited, and there was a lot of outside noise (the audience this time didn't wait for them to finish, but applauded as soon as the last note was played) - a passing wedding party, for example, who were blaring their horns: not conducive to performing minimalist, ethereal creations.
They do have a website, but in Japanese:
The Electric Chair
...but a better idea can be got from YouTube, where there are several selections: