musician | Unryu photo | Hideki Shiozawa Dec. 2008
Music concert @ Gallery éf
The warehouse of Gallery éf was built in 1868 at the end of Edo period, a family that owned a whole-sale lumber business in Kaminarimon, Asakusa. The Asakusa area has been burnt to the ground twice since then, once during the Kanto Great Earthquake in 1923, and then again during the Tokyo Air Raids of 1945. Fortunately the robustly made warehouse was able to withstand these catastrophic fires whilst the whole east area of Tokyo was burnt down.
The warehouse of Gallery éf is constructed with lumber made of Japanese cypress and pine trees, without the use of nails. The walls are made of plaster which is a mixture of lime, seaweed and flax. The thickness of the clay walls is around 30cm.
The original purpose of the warehouse was to protect the property and the building, which it has accomplished twice. In 1997 the warehouse was renovated and opened as an art space. Since then it has began to fulfill another function, that of a high quality art space that is also a very high quality acoustical space.
At Gallery éf we have held many live performances, more than one hundred during the past eleven years. The performances range from jazz, African drums, classical music, reading, ethnic instruments and others. The vast majority of the performances are live and unplugged. The space is enclosed by the natural materials of the warehouse, clay and wood, and this helps to resonate the sound of the instruments and the vocal, transforming the sound into a soft tone that carries even the last fleeting sounds of an echo to everyone in the audience.
The musicians that perform at Gallery éf realize the high quality of the sound of the warehouse. U-zhaan, an Indian classic Tabla percussion player, explained his sound experience in the space;
"The sound volume of Tabla is not loud. I should always amplify the sound by speaker systems. Unplugged playing at Gallery éf is the only time that I do not feel any stress about the sound and volume. I can listen to the sound of Tabla much clearer than when playing at home."
It is a really excellent opportunity to experience the quality of sound in the warehouse of Gallery éf. Entering into this extraordinary space that exists in and amongst the sprawling metropolis of Tokyo, you have the chance to touch a sound that appears from the darkness and the silence.
The space is limited to twenty-five seats. Please be sure reserve your place early. We hope you will enjoy a very intimate and special live performance by some of the top class musicians that will play here.