(We mean, everywhere!)
Orchestral music, and its performance, has a reputation for being culturally elitist, even if freely available online, over the radio and relatively inexpensive to attend in live performance (in comparison to its popular music counterparts or a meal at a good restaurant). However, the barrier of location and social milieu of live professional orchestral music as it is frequently housed in grand concert halls and cultural centres continues to construct a barrier to wider engagement with orchestral performance. Three issues need to be addressed:
1) bringing high quality live orchestral music into the mundane spaces of everyday life so that intimate contact with this exceptional music-making practice can be stumbled upon rather than sought, 2) creating informal social settings in traditional concert venues in order to engender a wider range of engagement with live orchestral music than is often projected, and 3) ensuring that people are personally invited into cultural spaces that may lie outside their normal routines. OSJ Everywhere is designed to address this first issue in a bold new way by performing short pop-up as well as advertised concerts in unusual spaces in Oxfordshire’s cities and villages. Orchestras can be cumbersome, especially the larger they get. The time-consuming set-up of chairs and stands, the copious amount of sheet music that gets blown around in the wind, and the fragility of valuable orchestral instruments which suffer in the sun, humidity and rain, makes it difficult to rock-up to any old street corner and bust out Beethoven 5. OSJ Everywhere addresses these issues by investing in an orchestra’s worth of professional quality carbon fibre string instruments, high-end plastic/durable wind and brass instruments, high-tech folding music stands with digital libraries of hundreds of orchestral parts and lightweight folding chairs. With individual musicians (double bass players excluded) carrying their own chair, stand and instrument, a 40-piece orchestra could be set-up in 5-10 minutes in any number of locations.