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.
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”
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
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 The Anatomy of the Orchestra was first presented by Bristol Music Trust as part of Bristol New Music Festival 2018 on Saturday 21st April 2018. It played at the Arnhem Foyer, Fairfield Halls, Croydon, Sunday 22nd September.
(Unofficial footage courtesy of Ade Smith, audience member)