Portsmouth Sinfonia
Guy Lochhead, 11/09/10
Orchestra founded by a group of students at Porsmouth School of Art in Portsmouth, England in 1970. Players were required to be either non-musicians, or to adopt an instrument that was entirely new to them. The orchestra began as a joke, but gained a sort of respect among composers and audience members, and were invited to play concerts, record albums and appear in films. I think this is a really fun project about people trying their best that can also be seen as a subversion of classical music institutions. It can be one of those horrible ‘art jokes’, or a club where people try new things. I ran a club for a while called the Dartington Bodybuilding Club, which had quite a similar starting point, and I know how much fun and motivational I found the experience. I will include either the ‘Hallelujah’ LP (though I don’t want to pay a collector’s price for it, and am discouraged as its out of print), or a compilation CD, if that is ever issued.

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