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The People’s Orchestra and friends performing War Of The Titans virtually

The most TITANic project ever?

You could say it was a ‘battle’ to get it completed…

(Okay, I’ll stop with the puns.) 

So, lockdown began…and we, along with nearly every other music ensemble in the world, thought, “We’re going to have to go VIRTUAL!”

It sounded like a venture into The New World (of music making). We all just record ourselves playing at home, everyone pings over the video and then we just stick them all together: easy, right?

(No. Not easy.)

Our other incredibly bright idea at this time, or perhaps more a realisation, was that this meant we could also go GLOBAL. Oh yes. Our two partner orchestras in Canada and New Zealand would be able to do this with us! Of course! What a wonderful thing that will be! And, in fact, it really was.

Alas, we embarked into The New World with ambition and good intentions to make global, virtual music to create unity in a time of isolation. We could feel it in our bones: this was going to be good. 

Only problem was……………yep, you got it: HOW?!

We needed to call on some of the great friends TPO has made over the years. We are very lucky to count the esteemed and award-winning film composer John Koutselinis among them. Not only does he compose wonderfully dramatic music, he also happens to be an absolute whiz at audio editing. PHEW! Hurdle one complete. We were going to use one of John’s pieces that we love: 

War Of The Titans

It’s epic; it’s battle; it’s a big sound. 

(Those terrible puns are starting to make sense now, huh?)

However, the scale of this project suddenly went from…

“Let’s do one of those virtual performance thingies!” 

to…

“How on Earth are we going to create the video to go with this gigantic piece of epic proportions that will reflect its mood and musicality, and be something that all of our players from around the world can keep forever and be super proud of?!”

(I mean, if you’re going to do something, do it properly, right?)

ANYWAY…we know these great guys, Blue Monday, who had created videos for us before – like when we flash-mobbed on a train (but that’s another story).

Thankfully, they were up for the challenge of creating a 3D virtual orchestra in a fantasty world, and this global, virtual collaboration truly began…and continued…and continued continuing…was it ever going to be complete?! 

‘Teething problems’ and ‘trial and error’ are definitely phrases that we can associate with this project. But what can you expect the first time you try something new? 

That said, on reflection, what we have achieved in the space of a few months is actually pretty incredible. I mean, the piece isn’t exactly easy to play…normally we’d rehearse something like this for that amount of time alone!

So, my hat goes off to all of the absolute SUPERSTAR members who contributed to this project. Not only did they have to learn how to play this (frankly, quite tricky!) piece, they had to…

  • Figure out how to record themselves at home, on their own
  • Actually record themselves playing and submit the video to us – the vulnerability this brings when you are used to playing alongside your friends is quite astounding
  • Do the recording in one take – no mistakes!
  • …all while getting to grips with being in the coronavirus induced lockdown and all of the associated difficulties that brought
  • THEN figure out how to send the inevitably HUGE file to me (more technology to master)
  • And then sit it out and wait out the weeks…months… while we liaised and reviewed and tweaked behind the scenes

However, ladies and gentleman, it is finally here. 

The moment that we have been waiting for. 

Feast your eyes and ears on the driving, dramatic music with superb visuals to match, that our members and partner members from three different countries have united to create over the course of just a couple of months. 

Here is ‘War Of The Titans’ by John Koutselinis, performed by members of The People’s Orchestra (UK), L’Orchestra Philharmonia Mundi de Montreal (Canada) and Orchestras Central (New Zealand).

Enjoy!

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