Enter this live sound installation exploring the workings of an Orchestra.

The orchestra is a thing of wonder. It is also, invariably, a thing of mystery: a huge number of musicians playing in perfect time. How does this happen? The Anatomy of the Orchestra is part concert, part installation; providing a thrilling opportunity for the audience to climb inside this perfect team, to immerse themselves in its mechanisms and to explore its process.

An aerial shot takes in Colston Hall's foyer staircase showing musicians and member sof the orchestra spread out across all levels.

Army of Generals and members of the British Paraorchestra in The Anatomy of the Orchestra at Colston Hall. Photo credit Paul Blakemore

In its first outing, The Anatomy of the Orchestra turned Colston Hall’s foyer inside out when a total of fifty-one musicians, drawn from Army of Generals and The British Paraorchestra and directed by Charles Hazlewood, were spread across the four levels of the atrium to play The Four Sections, a rare work for symphony orchestra by the highly influential American composer Steve Reich.

It was amazing… As I walked about it was most noticeable how everyone I passed smiled in the certain knowledge that we were all sharing something really unique”

Bristol 24/7

Wide view of colston hall foyers shows three levels full of musicians playing and members of the audience wandering around in between them. Large windows behind.

Army of Generals and members of the British Paraorchestra in The Anatomy of the Orchestra at Colston Hall. Photo credit Paul Blakemore

Armed with an astonishing and enveloping piece of pulse music – Steve Reich’s The Four Sections – and a giant orchestra arranged like a sculptural installation, I can promise each and every visitor to our Anatomy a quite extraordinary sonic adventure.” Charles Hazlewood

Charles Hazlewood conducting is surrounded by members of the public of all ages someof whom are watching Charles, others looking at unseen action elsewhere

Charles Hazlewood conducts Army of Generals and members of the British Paraorchestra in Anatomy of the Orchestra at Colston Hall. Photo credit Paul Blakemore

Walking amongst the orchestra as it played, the young and old alike hung out with the trombones, stood behind the oboes or wandered between the double basses, creating their own sonic mix from each section. Others fixed themselves in one position and let the music flood their eardrums.

To be able to stand between a violin and a clarinet was glorious. A position no ordinary punter would be lucky enough to be in. I closed my eyes and listened, really listened… It was joy”

Emma Champion, Arts Blogger

Produced by The Paraorchestra and Friends Anatomy of the Orchestra was first presented by Bristol Music Trust as part of Bristol New Music Festival 2018 on Saturday 21st April 2018.

See the full social roundup here.

(Unofficial footage courtesy of Ade Smith, audience member)

A mature man looks over the shoulder of a younger female cellist as she plays

The Anatomy of the Orchestra at Colston Hall. Photo credit Paul Blakemore

Audience members photograph a clarinettist and bassoon player in front of the windows at Colston Hall as they play.

Army of Generals and members of the British Paraorchestra in The Anatomy of the Orchestra at Colston Hall. Photo credit Paul Blakemore

An aerial shot of Charles Hazlewood conducting. Members of the audience and musicians can be seen on lower levels

Charles Hazlewood conducts Army of Generals and members of the British Paraorchestra in The Anatomy of the Orchestra at Colston Hall. Photo credit Paul Blakemore

Charles Hazlewood addresses the crowd from his position on a balcony. Members of the audience stand nearby looking on. Close up, side view.

Charles Hazlewood addresses the crowd at The Anatomy of the Orchestra at Colston Hall. Photo credit Paul Blakemore

Charles Hazlewood addresses the crowd from his position on a balcony. Members of the audience stand nearby looking on. Front veiw, the image take in the lower levels of Colston Hall's foyer and the staircase.

Army of Generals and members of the British Paraorchestra in The Anatomy of the Orchestra at Colston Hall. Photo credit Paul Blakemore

Taken from behind Charles Hazlewood as he conducts the musicians who we can see are positioned across three levels in the foyer.

Army of Generals and members of the British Paraorchestra in The Anatomy of the Orchestra at Colston Hall. Photo credit Paul Blakemore