Whether you want to bring the noise or enjoy the silence, Japan has you covered with the "silent live"

8:36 PM on 01.16.2009 // Zac Bentz

Turns out that the next big thing in live musical performances may not be bigger, better and brighter sound systems and light shows, but in fact quite the opposite.

At a recent event in Japan, a number of 8-bit/chiptune musicians came together to perform a "silent live." They did this right in the streets of Akihabara, the defacto gathering place of all things bleeding-edge in Japanese pop culture. Of course, in a fine bit of irony, these performance visionaries were all making their tunes on decades old game systems and handhelds.

Now here's the hook. In order to hear this free show, the audiences had to bring their own pair of headphones. They could then jack in to the performance, enjoying the lo-fi bleeps and crunches in their very own personal headspace. The beauty of this setup is that no one else is bothered by loud noise and it can all be done right out in public.

The album being promoted was the Squarewave Surfers: Memory of 8-bit compilation from VORC. Musicians suge, Hally and Saitone all took turns behind the rig, pumping out their jams using Famicoms, modded NES, Gameboys and mixers. All this while thousands of passers-by passed by clueless of what was going on only a few feet away.

You can get a taste of the album (as well as buy it!) over on HearJapan, where they also have a few more details of the event. The photos below are from the most recent event, and the video above is from a different event held earlier this year.

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