Tuesday, 1 May 2012

FAQs about the challenge

I have been asked by a few people how I look for musicians. And I get asked a lot of questions about what the challenge entails. The most comment misconsceptions/frequently asked questions seem to be:

You have to find an orchestra of buskers, right?
No I don't look for buskers. I find musicians carrying their instruments on the underground. But if I find a busker that's playing a classical instrument, I might drop a little note in their case (along with some money to weigh it down/bribe them) or speak to them during a break.

You've got to play with an orchestra on the trains? That's gotta be tough!
I'm not performing with people on the underground. It's pretty much impossible to do anyway. A carriage holds about 200 people. And that's just people, not instruments. Not only would it be difficult to fit, we wouldn't be able to hear or see much. If this was the challenge, I think it' would be fun, but a little pointless. The challenge is to find people to form an orchestra, and perform in a venue at a later date.

Do you have to get the musician to audition with you when you meet them? How do they know what song to play?
Finding musicians is tough enough, but finding one who had the free time (and interest!) to get their instrument out, set up somewhere with space and perform with me, would be a logistical nightmare. I'd also have to always carry my instrument with me, which I can't always do. The people just have to give me details and we'll meet/rehearse at a later date.

Do people have to sign up and agree there and then?
No. The musicians I meet just have to provide me details. There's no commitment needed in the initial meeting. Most people are busy and I don't want to take up much of their time. In general, those who have signed up to be on the roster have expressed an interest, but not committed when I first meet them.

What if you find the musicians and don't get one of the 12 venues (www.121212.org.uk/venues)
Technically the challenge has failed. But it would be a shame to go to such efforts and not perform. So a performance will go ahead, just probably after the deadline of 12th Dec.

What if you get on of the 12 venues but don't find enough musicians?
Again, the challenge has failed. But it would be a shame for everyone who has bought a ticket not to be given a good night. So I promise an event will occur!

How do you find the musicians?
There are many techniques I use (see other post about this) but I just look for instrument cases. This means that some smaller instruments are hard to find, but not impossible. Sometimes people carry a flute case, and it's quite easy to see. Once in a while I am speaking to someone about the challenge, and someone else steps forward and says they have an instrument in their bag. If you do anything long enough, you can find whatever you want.

Do you seriously think you can pull this off?
Yes. Over 2 million people travel on the London Underground every day (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Underground). Now I obviously can't meet them all, but I can easily see thousands of people a day with little or no effort. Just travelling back to me house from the cinema mean I have the opportunity to travel on 8 different carriages, with the potential of seeing over a thousand people.

My statistics show how many people I'll need to find to get a symphony orchestra, but it also doesn't include the fact that as interest in this rises, and as people spread the word, I'll have more chance. I've not had any musicians I've met know what I'm doing, but I have met non-musicians who have heard about this. In fact, I performed in Berlin in April and one of the support act's fans asked if I was "the same Buswell from the London Underground". So word is spreading.

I'm a musician and want to get involved? How can I do this?
The best chance any musician has of getting involved is to not contact me directly (if they're interested in joining the band, e-mail me at shaun@buswellmusic.com. But if they're interested in just joining the orchestra, don't contact me directly). This way, they remain a stranger.

Then, I would recommend they follow me on twitter (www.twitter.com/121212challenge) as I'll post up sometimes in advance where I'm going to be. Especially when the film crew will be with me.

Later in the year, I'll set up two weeks (prob June and early Sept) where I'll stay in the same place for 1-2 hours (prob from 8-10) giving everyone a chance to come and meet me and sign up.

If you want to, you could always contact darren@121212.org.uk. He's the web admin and might be able to also give you a bit more of a lowdown on places I'll be.

I'm not a musician. What can I do to help?
One of the best things you can do to help me is sign up to twitter (www.twitter.com/121212challenge) and facebook ((www.facebook.com/121212challenge) and spread the word. I am really bad at promoting myself, and I'm doing this challenge pretty much single handedly.

You can also donate to the charities (www.121212.org.uk/venues) and help raise funds this way.

And lastly, when it's announced, you can buy tickets to the event on 12th December 2012!

No comments:

Post a Comment