Ex-Easter Island Head: ‘Salford Large Electric Ensemble’


“Precise and pulsing rhythmic minimalism…a three chord punk mission statement turned into a neo-classical manifesto.”THE WIRE

Ex-Easter Island Hear are a UK based musical collective, composing and performing music for solid-body electric guitar, percussion and other instruments.

Primarily performing as a trio, the group incorporate multiple prepared electric guitars struck with percussion mallets to create works that explore group interplay, repetition and melodic invention through purposefully limited means. 

Their records Mallet Guitars One –Three, Large Electric Ensemble and Twenty-Two Strings have been released to significant critical acclaim from the likes of The Wire, Pitchfork, the Quietus and the New York Times. The group’s live performances at the likes of ATP festival, the Edinburgh Fringe and throughout the UK, Europe and Japan have been praised by The Guardian, Independent, BBC and more for their hypnotic energy, compositional flair and unique spectacle.

Large Electric Ensemble is Ex-Easter Island Head’s first piece for massed electric instruments and drums.

Following on from ‘Mallet Guitars Three’ for four guitars and three performers, Large Electric Ensemble sees the group expand to include twelve prepared electric guitars and drums to create a maximalist wash of amplified strings and droning overtones.

Commissioned by the first annual World Event Young Artist festival (WEYA) held in Nottingham 2012, the piece was developed alongside an ensemble of local musicians from a variety of musical backgrounds. Debuted at the festival and developed over further months, the piece was recorded completely live and with no overdubs across two days in March 2013.

“Skilfully balanced between methodical precision and emotional resonance, the result is a listen that is dynamic, rich and fluid despite the modesty of its parts.” THE QUIETUS

Following on from the critically acclaimed Mallet Guitars trilogy (2010-13) and Large Electric Ensemble (2014) and honed across high profile live appearances including the Stewart Lee curated ATP, Liverpool Psych Fest and the Edinburgh Fringe, ‘Twenty-Two Strings’ is the latest album from UK-based experimental trio Ex-Easter Island Head.

Utilising horizontally-laid electric guitars and bass, the group continue to develop their own distinctive musical language, eschewing digital processing and effects for a vocabulary of mechanical preparations and extended techniques, creating a sound drawing on minimalism, gamelan and process music.

Salford Large Electric Ensemble’

For Supersonic 2017, EEIH convene a gathering of their Large Electric Ensemble, comprising performers drawn from all corners of the thriving Manchester and Salford underground to present an ambitiously scaled work for sixteen prepared table-top electric guitars and percussion.

Utilising a self-developed language of extended techniques and mechanical preparations the piece sees the groups’ shimmering electrified minimalism expanded to a bold new scale, encompassing members of Gnod, ILL, Action Beat, Mother and tapping into the vast resources of talent at Salford’s Islington Mill and on the Manchester-based Tombed Visions label. 

It is imperative you DO NOT MISS this spectacle at Supersonic Festival 2017.




Supersonic 2014 “Ltd Edt” playlist



It’s that time again to get curious, to get adventurous and to get ready. After taking a year out to re-imagine the festival following our tenth anniversary, Supersonic Festival is now back and going old skool in special two-day “Limited Edition” format this May 30th-31st. Tickets HERE.

The line-up so far includes post-punk legends SWANS, avant garde rockers WOLF EYES, multi-instrumentalist ensemble EX EASTER ISLAND HEAD, straight-talkers SLEAFORD MODS, sonic explorer BASIC HOUSE, Baltimore duo MATMOS, electro-violinist AGATHE MAX, Norwegian songwriter JENNY HVAL and more…. For a taste of what’s to come have a listen to our Supersonic 2014 playlist featuring these artists:

Supersonic Festival’s playground for 2014 will be the iconic Custard Factory, home of Capsule HQ. This ever-evolving industrial arts complex will shapeshift once again this May to play host to Supersonic’s enticing programme of experimental music, film and art. But this is Supersonic “Limited Edition” don’t forget, so expect a few extra special treats… and remember tickets are limited to 400 so do not miss out. Keep your eyes peeled for further line-up announcements over the next few weeks.
Tickets are available from HERE.


Discover New Music – featuring Rhys Chatham, Adrian Utley and more


We are delighted to announce that tickets are now on sale for our Discover New Music series for the opening of the Library of Birmingham.
Tickets can be purchased via the Box office www.birmingham-box.co.uk 0121 245 4455

Our adventure with the role and function of the Library of Birmingham continues with a series of cutting edge live music performances. The breadth of performances on offer showcase some of the most exciting music around, from internationally renowned artists to young Birmingham bands making a real impact on the independent music scene.


Leftfoot presents Omar
Friday 6 September 2013
Venue Studio Theatre Library of Birmingham
Ticket price £15
Box office www.birmingham-box.co.uk 0121 245 4455

A British soul singer, songwriter and musician, Omar learned his craft classically, playing the trumpet, piano and percussion. Making albums since the early 1990s, his work is often compared to Stevie Wonder’s work of the 1970s. He is described by some as the father of British neo soul.

Leftfoot was founded back in 2000 by Adam Regan and Richard Whittingham, and has evolved into one of the most important left-of-centre, soul- based projects in the UK. Voted the best Club Night by Gilles Peterson in 2003, the intervening decade has witnessed Leftfoot’s pioneering progression, hosting guests across a vibrant palette covering house, hip-hop, disco, jazz, funk, soul, reggae, drum & bass, techno, Afrobeat, Latin and more.

Rise of Birmingham
Wednesday 2 October 2013
Venue Studio Theatre Library of Birmingham
Ticket price £5
Box office www.birmingham-box.co.uk 0121 245 4455

The city’s music scene has been making an impressive impact on the national indie scene in recent years. Last year, NME celebrated the ‘Rise of Birmingham’ and the diverse indie music scene here. This night will see some performances from some of the best emerging bands in the region including:

Free School
Bringing the sunny Balearic sounds of summer and the icy kosmische sounds of winter, Free School are maximalist and minimalist all at once. wearefreeschool.com

Victories At Sea
Victories At Sea are an experimental three piece, citing influences as wide and diverse as Slowdive, Boards of Canada, and M83 through to more unadulterated alternatives such as Echo and The Bunnymen. victoriesatsea.co.uk

Noise quintet whose diverse influences blend to create a mash up of genres, creating a new sound that has something for every alternative pallet.
facebook.com/ victortheverbose

Youth Man
They generate an infectious energy during their intense live show as three individuals grapple with their instruments to whip up a reckless tornado of sound, flailing limbs and musical angst that is a feast for the senses.

Bring To Light Weekend
Friday –Sunday 25-27 October
Venue Rainbow Warehouse + Studio Theatre Library of Birmingham
Ticket price £40 weekend ticket
Box office www.theticketsellers.co.uk
0844 870 0000

Capsule will curate a weekend of adventurous music, celebrating the very best in new music and performance. Producing extraordinary events for adventurous audiences, Capsule have a keen eye and ear for the most exciting music and performance around.

Over the last 10 years Capsule’s Supersonic Festival has gained a reputation as one of the best experimental music festivals in the world, at its heart a passion for genre bending sound and performance. The festival will return in 2014 at a brand new city centre based location.

A Supersonic Festival inspired weekend, Bring to Light’s varied programme will combine electronic music, folk, black metal, electro acoustic composition, hip hop and more.
Friday’s programme will see performances in the industrial space of the Rainbow Warehouse in Digbeth, for the rest of the weekend dynamic new music will invade the Library of Birmingham.

This weekend of dynamic and innovative sound will include:
Dinos Chapman / Shangaan Electro / Josephine Foster / Clipping / Deafheaven / Masaki Batoh / Robedoor / Zomes / High Wolf / Kogumaza / Richard Dawson / Sleaford Mods / Sarah Angliss / Delia Darlings / Laurence Hunt / Hordes

Rhys Chatham & Charlemagne Palestine
+ special guests Ex Easter Island Head

Saturday 2 November 2013
Studio Theatre Library of Birmingham
Ticket price £12
Box office www.birmingham-box.co.uk
0121 245 4455

Charlemagne Palestine is an American composer, performer, and visual artist. A contemporary of Philip Glass, Terry Riley, Phill Niblock, and Steve Reich. Rhys Chatham is a composer, guitarist and trumpet player from Manhattan, currently living in Paris, who altered the DNA of rock.
Chatham and Palestine first met in the late 60s in New York, at the end of 2012; they decided to revisit their collaboration. This will be the first live outing of this project and an incredible opportunity to see two giants in contemporary composition perform together.

Ex-Easter Island Head are a Liverpool-based ensemble composing and performing for solid body electric guitar, percussion and other instruments. Their music – played on horizontally mounted mallet-struck guitars alongside a battery of unusual percussion – has been compared to the likes of Steve Reich, Balinese Gamelan and Claude Debussy.

Large Electric Ensemble was commissioned for the inaugural World Event Young Artists (WEYA) festival, held in Nottingham 2012. Utilising an ensemble of experienced local musicians the piece sees an ensemble of 12 guitarists playing modified ‘third bridge’ guitars from a unique graphic score to create a unique shimmering soundworld, rich in heavenly drones, overtones and repetition.

Adrian Utley’s Guitar Orchestra performs Terry Riley’s in ‘C’
+ special guests Pram
Sunday 24 November 2013
Studio Theatre Library of Birmingham
Ticket price £15
Box office www.birmingham-box.co.uk 0121 245 4455

Adrian Utley is devoted to breaking new ground and exploring the potential of the guitar. As a member of the experimental electronic band, Portishead, Utley is jazz trained, with a passion for the minimalist approach to playing. To celebrate his love of experimental techniques, Utley’s task for the Discovery Season is to spearhead a guitar orchestra that will be re-interpret Terry Riley’s ‘In C’, which although written in 1964, is one of the most influential music pieces of the 20th century.
The audience will witness fifty three different ways of the playing the C note which will form an unforgettable performance, supported by organ music and percussionists. To commemorate this unique concert, Invada Records will release a recorded live version in the Autumn of 2013.

Birmingham’s Pram craft fairytales from concrete reality. The second city’s spin cycle of perpetual renovation, from the slum clearances to its current cosmetic upgrade, is etched in Pram’s restless groove, an endearing and gently refusenik mix encircling early Rough Trade innovators The Raincoats, astro jazz, sci-fi soundtracks, creepy Victoriana, tropical analogue and tumbledown funk.