A SWINDON musician is battling through an exhausting schedule this week to put together an orchestra made up of strangers he has met on the London Underground.
Shaun Buswell was back at home in Rodbourne writing music and trying to get some of the people he has recruited to commit to days for shows and rehearsals.
But he had a helping hand from the Daytrippers charity for children with disabilities and life-limiting illnesses, which is now involved with the project.
The rules of the 12/12/12 challenge stipulate that the band of between 30 and 100 people must be ready to perform at one of 12 top London venues by December 12.
However, after Daytrippers became involved the performance will now take place on January 26 at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire.
But Shaun, who is well-known on the Swindon music scene, still has to complete the challenge by December 12 and is continuing to scour the Underground.
An invite-only performance may still take place on the 12th but Daytrippers will host the main show the following month.
Shaun, 35, said: “I’m in the final leg now and it’s been really, really stressful. It’s the hardest part of the challenge so far.
“It’s one thing meeting people on the Underground and convincing them to join the orchestra, it’s another thing to get them to commit to dates.
“It’s a real godsend that Daytrippers is involved.”
Shaun, from Stratton, has already played a mini-concert in the London Eye and a pre-show at the Union Chapel in Islington with 22 of the orchestra.
He said: “I’m spending my time working on the project in Swindon and travelling back to London.
“I’m determined to see it through and I’ll be going right up until December 12.”
Under the rules of the challenge, which is supported by Transport For London, the musicians must also be carrying their instrument – or part of it – when Shaun approaches them for the first time.
Leila Talmage, of Daytrippers, said: “When Daytrippers first heard about Shaun we realised he had set himself a huge musical challenge, against the odds considering he cannot read or write music.
“Not only does he have to meet each of his musicians personally on the London Underground, but he has to engage them enough to get them to contribute in his challenge and play his music while never breaking one of his many set rules.
“We were inspired by this huge undertaking as the disabled children and their families we work with also face their own challenges daily.
“We loved the similarity and wanted to celebrate it.”
The main Underground Orchestra event will premiere a documentary of Shaun’s journey carrying out the challenge along with a live music performance.
For more information visit at www.121212.org.uk or follow on @121212challenge on Twitter.