Exploring interconnecting rivers, canals and waterways that link the country’s major cities and towns, The Broken Orchestra are looking to build a collection of music that will not only be performed live, but also will be available long-term to download and experience as a collection of walks, set along and inspired by rivers and canals of the North.
Inspired by writing music for visual content, this project expands on this by creating music for specific outdoor environments. This process offers an interesting, ever-changing backdrop that becomes affected by time of day, seasonal changes and varying weather conditions. In turn, this offers a unique compositional opportunity for artists to create powerful, atmospheric soundtracks with artistic licence to enhance with vocalists, spoken word or poetry.
With an overriding theme of ‘connection’, in a hugely culturally and socially divisive time, this project will naturally follow the direction of the river to the next major city, where the process of music creation will be repeated. Crucially, the next part of the journey allows a new local artist to take control of the music composition and add their interpretation as they create a score for their own local landscape. This building collection will seek to connect diverse cultures through the medium of music and allow an interesting insight into cultural differences to be displayed audibly and visually.
Formed in early 2010 by then audio engineer Carl Conway Davis and then Hip-Hop producer Pat Dooner, The Broken Orchestra began as an experiment, a way to learn and as a creative output. Ten years on, and those fundamental aspects still remain, even if those initial roles have shifted somewhat.
Ten years of creativity, expansion and development has seen The Broken Orchestra morph into more than just a music production duo. They create soundtracks for landscapes, audio walking tours, radio dramas and sci-fi adventures, perform live as a five-piece band, and release music into the world on physical and digital formats – all in a bid to connect with the audience.
As a band, they release music that regularly receives airplay from the likes of BBC Introducing’s Tom Robinson and Steve Lamacq on BBC Radio 6 Music. They’ve also played live in some of the UK’s most prestigious venues during the last three years including Hare and Hounds (Birmingham), Band on the Wall (Manchester), Hifi Club (Leeds) and Hoochie Coochie (Newcastle).
Extremely proud of their hometown of Hull, they’re supported extensively by local partners such as BBC Introducing Humberside and Humber Street Sesh and have been lucky enough to have been commissioned to work with such brilliant festivals as Freedom Festival Arts Trust, Hull Jazz Festival, and BBC Contains Strong Language, as well as being supported in this work by Arts Council England.
Collaboration and experimentation have been at the forefront of their work over the last ten years, an ethos that has seen them collaborate with many notable musicians, artists and performers including the likes of Inyang Bassey (Moby), Melanie Pain (Nouvelle Vague), Anna Uhuru (Abstract Orchestra) and Shawn Lee. With a keen interest in presenting music in different ways, they’ve also created soundtracks for projects with Vicky Foster (BBC Radio 4), Joe Hakim and Hull Truck Theatre.
The Broken Orchestra feat. Lyn Acton – Tomorrow: