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Undeground orchestra players complete first venue gig
A ROVING Swindon musician has conquered the latest challenge in his quest to form an orchestra made up entirely of people he has met on the London Underground.
Shaun Buswell and 20 people he has approached randomly on the tube network played their first gig in a dedicated performance venue at Islington’s Union Chapel on Friday.
He has to form an orchestra with the rules of the 12/12/12 challenge stipulating that the band must be ready to perform at one of 12 top London venues by December 12.
Shaun, a firm fixture on Swindon’s music scene with his band Buswell, has to approach strangers within the barriers of the Underground and they must be carrying all or part of their instrument.
The Stratton resident, 35, praised the ‘wonderful’ musicians he shared a stage with in North London on Friday night and said he was ‘blessed’ to perform with them.
“I’ve met nearly 300 musicians so far,” he said. “I’ve met enough violinists to form two symphony orchestras, but I haven’t signed up that many.
“So in general I think I think that I’ve found about 30 musicians.
“I think we’ve hit our quota but we clearly need more to balance out the orchestra in the right way.”
Shaun has dodged Olympic crowds in his mission to form the Underground Orchestra, chased musicians right up to the ticket barriers and found some stations more fertile hunting grounds than others.
“Baker Street’s a pretty good one because you have got the music colleges there,” he said.
“Westminster’s pretty good because it’s a crossover.
“Most of the stations where you have got more than one line going through are pretty good I’d say.”
The first concert took place in a pod on the EDG Energy London Eye with just eight musicians and eight members of the public.
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 must also write all of the music himself, even though he cannot read a note.
For more information on the challenge, visit the website at www.121212.org.uk or follow on @121212challenges on Twitter.