Tracking musicians for unique orchestra

This Is Wiltshire: Shaun Buswell is in London for the 12/12/12 Underground Orchestra Challenge Shaun Buswell is in London for the 12/12/12 Underground Orchestra Challenge

A SWINDON musician has been dodging the Olympic crowds in his quest to put together an orchestra of strangers he has met on the London Underground.

Shaun Buswell, who is organising a group of 30 to 100 people, has met some respected and talented performers while recruiting for the Underground Orchestra.

The rules of the 12/12/12 challenge stipulate that the strangers must be ready to perform at one of 12 top London venues by December 12.

Shaun, who has been a firm fixture on the town’s music scene with his band Buswell, said: “The Olympics have made life difficult but it's going pretty well.

“I have met enough violinists to fill two symphony orchestras and I have met 32 musicians at Baker Street station alone. “Last month I met 16 on one day.

“Some of the musicians I have met have been quite well-known, such as a member of the Raven String Quartet, which is made up of four very attractive women.

“However I cannot approach the other three members unless I see them in the underground.

“All I can do is find out where they are rehearsing and hope they use the tube.

“It has been quite frustrating at times when I have chased after people only to lose them when they pass to the other side of the barriers.”

Under the rules of the challenge, which is supported by Transport for London, the musicians Shaun meets must also be carrying their instrument – or part of it – when he meets them for the first time. He is, however, allowed to pick one musician he works with per instrument as the lead for that group.

The challenge will help to raise awareness of a number of charities, including Wiltshire-based Music Alive, which uses music to support disabled people and help them achieve more independent, fulfilled and integrated lives.

Shaun, 35, must also write all of the music himself, even though he cannot read a note.

The first performance will be in a pod in the EDF Energy London Eye on September 11.

Eight musicians will entertain eight members of the public drawn through a raffle which can be entered via Facebook.

A pre-show, which will introduce some of the musicians, will then take place at the Union Chapel, in Islington, on September 14.

Shaun, of Stratton , said: “The Union Chapel is a really lovely place. We are doing a preview show which will include a smaller, stripped-down performance.

“We will also reveal where the actual show is and update people on the challenge.”

For more information on the challenge visit the website at www.121212.org.uk or follow on @121212challenges on Twitter.

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