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.