During the week of 11th-17th February, a new multi-genre orchestra came together under the aegis of Club Inegales, hosted by the Barbican Centre as a residency at their studio theatre space, The Pit, and curated by Inegales musical director and composer Peter Wiegold with John Cumming of Serious and the EFG London Jazz Festival.
With Peter as the catalyst, the ensemble took shape during a week of intensive workshops. Some 20 individually talented music creators came together in a process of collaborative writing and improvising, filling the intimate underground setting of The Pit with music that transcended genre to populate a rich landscape of sonic exploration.
With a 50/50 male/female balance, 50% BAME, aged from 18-65, and with an extraordinary mix of lineages, the orchestra emerged with its own distinct identity, diverse, and celebrating difference as much as ‘fusion’. Whilst these first steps took place in London, the ambition is now to develop opportunities elsewhere in the UK and internationally.
The week culminated in two sold-out and enthusiastically received concerts on Saturday 16th February, with an opportunity for the audience to meet the performers between performances. The following day, a group of young people were invited to play alongside members of the Orchestra to explore the potential for a ‘Third Youth Orchestra’, and join a discussion about musical identity as they confront a diverse and global musical world. The group included talented players from Birmingham Conservatoire, Goldsmiths, Jazz South/University of Southampton, Kingston Universoty, National Youth Folk Orchestra, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, UK Chinese Music and Tomorrow’s Warriors.