The performance by Location Ensemble at the Saratoga Arts Center last Saturday began and ended with gifts to the crowd. Before the show started, free sets of ear plugs were offered up to attendees to blunt the impact of the experimental sound troupe’s eight guitarists and one drummer.
And the show ended when ensemble members passed plastic cups filled with fizzling champagne around the audience – a bit of participatory theater that concluded their fascinating final piece, “Electric Guitar II” by Swiss experimental composer Valerian Maly.
“This last piece happens mostly on the floor. It’s quite a bit less loud than what you just heard, for the most part,” announced guitarist and ensemble member Holland Hopson before he knelt on the floor and placed a champagne flute on his guitar strings – a process repeated by each guitarist, one-by-one.