Events

An Experimental Music Collective with Fluxus Undertones Comes to Brooklyn

Since it was formed in 1996 by former students of composer and Fluxus member Takehisa Kosugi, Marginal Consort has gathered once every year to perform without any planning or rehearsal.

A recent Marginal Consort performance (courtesy Pioneer Works)
A recent Marginal Consort performance (courtesy Pioneer Works)

In the 1970s, composer, violinist, and Fluxus member Takehisa Kosugi began teaching at Tokyo’s Bigaku school of aesthetics, shaping the minds of a new generation of experimental musicians and sound artists. A group of Kosugi’s students went on to form the East Bionic Symphonia, which in 1996 further morphed into Marginal Consort, a collective of musicians and visual artists who gather to play together once every year without any planning or rehearsal. This year, exceptionally, the group — whose current members are Kazuo Imai, Kei Shii, Masami Tada, and Tomonao Koshikawa — will play twice, with the first performance slated for Friday evening at Pioneer Works and presented by Blank Forms. (The second performance is Sunday in Los Angeles.)

The only sure things at a Marginal Consort concert are the beginning and end times; beyond that, the form of the performance is entirely open to improvisation and circumstance. The group’s trademark approach consists more of a series of overlapping solo performances, rather than any kind of concerted, collective sound aimed at achieving a specific harmony or crescendo. Members will play a range of devices, from conventional instruments to others that are homemade and objects like bamboo sticks, marbles, pots of water, and the like. In keeping with the concert’s improvisational and horizontal structure, spectators are invited to move around the space, sitting and standing at the margins, or lie on the ground throughout the unpredictable performance.

When: Friday, June 1, 7pm ($20)
Where: Pioneer Works (159 Pioneer Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn)

A Marginal Consort concert in London in 2016 (photo by Keiko Higuchi)
A Marginal Consort concert in London in 2016 (photo by Keiko Higuchi)

More info at Pioneer Works.

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