Instant Orchestra is always formed by whoever turns up to perform on the night. A total lack of rehearsals is our sine qua non.

Instant Orchestra performed their version of Handel’s Messiah
at the Bodleian Weston Library, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG
on Fri 20th November 2015

The performance took place between 8.15-10.15pm, there were no rehearsals of course. The Bodelian had Handel’s original manuscript on display
and they also ingeniously provided the means for people to print their own copy of the Hallelujah Chorus. 

It was produced by Max Reinhardt , OCM and the Bodleian Library  for the city’s Christmas Light Festival 2015. They performed a new version of Handel’s Messiah (his most famous work), specially re-interpreted and recomposed for musicians and non-musicians to play together…a premiere performance of the Instant Orchestra’s Instant Messiah .   
Using techniques and principles inspired by  Cornelius Cardew’s Scratch Orchestra and Portsmouth Sinfonia (amongst others), the Instant Orchestra created a truly accessible music-making experience for all, with Max Reinhardt at the helm as Musical Director. He and some wondrous guest musicians, conceptualisers, composers and sonic rebels  created unique interpretations of The Messiah and miscellaneous Messianic Interventions , with some of them appearing on the night to lead their sections of the piece.  The performance ran for about 2 hours (including an interval). Clearly a durational piece, the event was totally relaxed in nature, allowing the audience to stay for as little or as long as they wanted to.

The Instant Orchestra is always formed by whoever turns up to perform on the night. A total lack of rehearsals is our sine qua non. But fear not, it's never a jam, though improvisation cannot be ruled out or indeed in. We welcome all experienced and totally inexperienced, pro and amateur musicians and wannabe musicians, distinguished virtuosos and people who just have to play but never have before, and everyone in between along with Messiahphiles of every description, on this occasion. On this night some 50 instrumentalists and 50 choristers became the instant orchestra. Leading Members/Special Guests included: 

Spencer Down (Docklands Symphonia) | conductor 

Jane Alden | singer, composer 

Mike Blow | sound artist, electronics, composer
Becky Brown | drums 
Bex Burch | drums
Iain Chambers | sound artist, DJ, composer
Mick Khan (COMA Voices ) singer, vocs
Hannah Dilkes | composer, trombone
Caractacus Downes  | original notion, clarinet 
Lillie Harris| composer! trombone
Jim Hart | drums
KNITSONIK | sound artist, knitter
Will Mount |  composer, singer
Laura Moody | cello, vocs, composer

Macarena Ortuzar | dancer

OCM-Sound and production  

Max Reinhardt | musical director, composer, pocket trumpet, zangs dung, vocs
The previous performance of the Instant Orchestra was at London’s Southbank Centre as part of the London Jazz Festival. This performance took place in Blackwell Hall at the Bodleian’s impressive Weston Library on Broad Street, placing the event at the heart of the Christmas Lights festival.  It was particularly accessible to festival goers after the lantern parade had finished because of its location and the glass frontage, tempting people inside.  As a non-concert hall space and a free event, it dissolved any barriers for those who are new to contemporary music.