‘Epic Fail’ by design, but actually more ‘Epic’ than ‘Fail’. Mind you there is plenty of ‘Fail’.
Today’s Chris Evans Breakfast Show featured an interview with the Martin Lewis, Manager of the unabashedly proudly anointed “World’s Worst Orchestra”, the Portsmouth Synfonia (iPlayer at minute 1:44 for next 7 days).
As Chris Evans explained, the concept was to bring together accomplished musicians, but “you weren’t allowed to play an instrument that you were able to play.” Lewis elaborates on the creative gems that ensue…
“We think that there will be great interest [in the new CD]. We think that If you thought that they we bad when you heard them mono on vinyl, wait until you hear them remastered digitally. They’re far worse…If you play badly, we’ll have you…Some of [the musicians] are like the film composer Michael Nyman…Clive Langer…and of course Brian Eno. So yes, some great musicians have come out of it. Despite the Portsmouth Synfonia, they’ve gone on to be successful.”
“Nobody plays badly on purpose. That wouldn’t be funny. That would be like an obvious joke. Everyone is genuinely trying their best, but the trouble is we embrace the entire range of musical competence. So there were some people who actually were of symphony orchestra standards, but there were other people who didn’t know which end of the violin to blow. And if someone was particularly good, we would say, ‘Look, you are rather good on that cello. Why don’t you try the oboe instead?’…Everyone was doing their very best, but it was just simply that we weren’t very good.”
And they sold out the Albert Hall concluding with their very own rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus…
“It’s one thing for one person not to sing. For example, when I am in the shower, it’s bad. But when you have 350 people who can’t sing, it has a sort of quite a good quality to it.”
Play them out Fail Cat.