The Liverpool based experimental music collective, who have released records through Nottingham’s Low Point, have set up shop in town for the week. They here for World Event Young Artists performing three separate pieces at various points throughout the festival. The first was a performance of Mallet Guitars 3 in the Broadway Cafe Bar last Sunday, whilst their For Voices mass participation vocal orchestra took place at St Peter’s Church on Thursday. Tonight sees them perform their third and final WEYA piece, a guitar orchestra.
Large Electric Ensemble has been specifically written for WEYA and see’s the Ex-Easter Island Head trio collaborating with ten Nottingham based experimental and left-field musicians including members of Kogumaza, Fists, Souvaris, The Cusp, Dusty Bible, as well as Low Point Records boss, Gareth Hardwick.
The members of Ex-Easter Island Head line-up with their backs to the audience facing the semi circle of guitarists ready to conduct them through the 30 minute guitar-led piece.
Starting off with a gentle waves of guitar hum, the music gently takes flight on a hypnotic and beguiling journey. Gentle and chiming beams of music slowly unfurl throughout the course of the half hour and steadily transform themselves into tight, punchy, Krautrock style rhythms.
Half of the guitars that were on stage as part of the Large Electric Ensemble - Photo by Gareth Hardwick
The volume created by the large number of guitarists on stage adds a heaviness that has an almost dreamlike quality to it; and the repetitive nature of the music, coupled with physically feeling the music hit you as it sweeps down from the stage, creates a euphoric high and the feeling that I’ve dropped something a little naughty. But I haven’t. Instead I’m getting my mind taken apart and reassembled in a way I didn’t think possible by the 13 musicians up on the Nottingham Contemporary stage.
For the final few moments the pace picks up and the band, looking relaxed and sounding comfortable, bring the music to an ecstatic close with chugging power chords against a disco-like drum beat providing the band with a triumphant and ecstatic finish.
This was one of the most magical and inspiring performances that I have ever had the privilege to witness. A truly outstanding and moving piece of music. Well done everyone.
Large Electric Ensemble by Ex-Easter Island Head featuring a cast of Nottingham musicians took place at Nottingham Contemporary on Friday 14 September 2012.