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The Endz showcases The Multi-Story Orchestra’s commitment to the Peckham community it serves

When someone says ‘orchestra’, what comes to mind? Grand concert halls, opulent theatres, and centuries-old symphonies? The Multi-Story Orchestra prove that doesn’t always have to be the way.

Tearing up the classical music rulebook since 2011, The Multi-Story Orchestra was born in Peckham, giving the traditional multi-instrument concept a contemporary refresh. Removing it from its archetypal grandeur, and re-situating strings, brass, and wind within a multi-story car park, it was an intuitive pathway to drawing new audiences, providing a creative outlet for the community, and giving the artform newfound life.

The Multi-Story Orchestra’s home is Bold Tendencies, an innovative SE15 arts organisation based atop Peckham Multi-Storey Car Park. With the group being made up of both professional musicians and young adoptees, the intention has always been to “bring powerful and meaningful music to life”, believing that “creating the best art means involving and valuing absolutely everybody” – it’s a project that works with, and for, its immediate local community.

Produced with a group of inspiring Peckham teenagers, its most recent piece, The Endz, comprises spoken word, rap, and songs derived from the writers’ lived experiences of social inequality and the gang culture that can accompany it. It’s “their story, their words, their music.” Following a pair of friends torn apart by violence, the modern-day story of friendship, heartbreak, and loss took shape after the tragic and untimely death of one of their friends.



The dual effects of tens of millions of pounds being cut from London’s youth service budgets and large spikes in knife crime have catalysed Peckham’s young people into action. The Endz deals with these issues head-on, “with an unrivalled blend of virtuosic musicianship and powerful social commentary.” For the young people involved, there’s power in taking control of the narrative about their own community. As singer Nathaniel Casaclang notes, “We created this project because we wanted to let people know what our reality is as there is not enough awareness. As young people we are told that we have the power to change things; but people are still not listening to us. Nothing changes. This is our way of spreading the word and we hope people will listen.”

Standing in the concrete surrounds of Peckham Multi-Storey Car Park, watching and listening to the orchestra perform emotively in an austere and utilitarian space is a sonic experience unlike any other. For a grassroots project to repurpose that environment with ease is so inspiring. The Multi-Story Orchestra could have only come about with great vision and aspiration to establish something totally new. Peckham is no stranger to alternative arts and culture pursuits, while the area also endures sweeping gentrification, an influx of wealthy residents, and new businesses that jar with longer-held tenancies on Rye Lane. At the time of the project’s starting, before much of that had begun, it was an altogether different place – but the orchestra continues to centre the local community that’s been there since the beginning.

After debuting at Bold Tendencies in 2021, The Endz returned to the car park for performances on 7th and 8th July 2022. We share The Multi-Story Orchestra’s passion for making art, culture, and creativity more accessible in urban communities, so supported them with a street poster campaign that took over the area – while they worked to deliver their performance’s vital message far and wide.

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