This striking video shows the reality of socially-distanced orchestras

24 September 2020, 12:11

The Parallax Orchestra performs Grieg, Debussy and Haydn socially-distanced, in Lee Broom's new 'Maestro' chair

By Rosie Pentreath

A new reality. But beautiful music will never cease...

This eye-catching video shows members of an orchestra performing socially-distanced.

Featuring the Parallax Orchestra, the video (watch above) highlights the new socially-distanced reality of music-making amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Each musician sits on an individual plinth, in ten neat rows of three, to create a sense of drama while ensuring they all remain safely two metres apart, to comply with COVID-19 measures.

A montage of Grieg’s Holberg Suite (‘Air’), Debussy’s Clair de Lune, and Haydn’s Symphony No. 49, the orchestra’s performance takes place in a luxurious red room, and is accompanied during the Debussy by a majestic moon – rising, then setting, behind the orchestra. Goosebumps...

Read more: This beautiful ballet video shows the reality of social distancing on stage >

This beautiful video shows the reality of socially-distanced orchestras
This beautiful video shows the reality of socially-distanced orchestras. Picture: Parallax Orchestra / Lee Broom

The musicians themselves are sat atop a new chair, Maestro, designed by Lee Broom and featured in London Design Festival this year.

Speaking about the classical music project, designer Lee Broom says, “Music plays a big part in everything I do from the design process to the final presentation; it continually informs and directs where I take my work.

“After seeing the New York Philharmonic play in Manhattan last year, it became my ambition to watch a live orchestra play some of my favourite pieces of music on my Maestro chair. With the absence of physical presentations, this project has also allowed me to transfer skills from my background in music and theatre into creating this film.”

The Parallax Orchestra was founded in 2015 by violinist Will Harvey and cellist Maddie Cutter as a session musicians’ orchestra, and often collaborates with musicians and artists from all kinds of genres and disciplines. It attracts arrangers, orchestrators and composers as well as top orchestral players.

The London-based orchestra is conducted by Simon Dobson.