A disused carpark in Peckham seems like an odd place for a classical orchestra to take up residence, but not so for the organisers and musicians of Multi-Story. Run by composer Kate Whitley and conductor and creative director Christopher Stark as part of Peckham art collective Bold Tendencies’ summer series, 2015 marks the fourth year that the orchestra will be setting up camp in the parking complex.
When it comes it classical music it seems the younger generations are in short supply, and so Multi-Story aims to enthuse the next generation of classical music listeners and performers by abstracting orchestral music from its traditional and slightly more elite surroundings. The pair chose the multi-story carpark because of its cultural neutrality – it’s a space built for a clear and practical purpose, and when it isn’t fulfilling that purpose it can therefore be a blank canvas to which no preconceptions, or separating factors can be attached in the same way they can to a church, or a theatre, or any other traditional concert venue.
This year has played host to all manner of performances, and will soon feature a very special recital of experimental composer John Cage’s Living Room Music, a percussion piece played using “unspecified instruments”, all which could be found in a living room, ranging from window frames to kitchen utensils. As part of this performance the company will also run workshops for children and families, imparting knowledge and inspiration to the young musicians of tomorrow.