The amazing thing about New Note Orchestra, is New Note Orchestra itself. If you can ignore the flowery Jesus, St Luke’s Church in Brighton provides a great practice space for the musicians of varying experience. The orchestra was set up by Molly Mathieson in 2015 who was involved in the Channel 4 programme Addicts’ Symphony. She gave up her career as TV Producer to set up the orchestra after being so moved by how the musicians, whose lives had been affected by addiction, were transformed during the classical performance put on by James McConnell, (Rachel Millard, The Argus)
There are now 20 or so musicians whose lives are affected by addiction, who play in the orchestra and others who drop in and out. It is thought to be the first recovery orchestra in the world. There is a beautiful creative and nurturing atmosphere. There is no need to be proficient at any instrument and there are lots to choose from, even if you have never played them before. If you can get a note, or a sound out of an instrument, the conductor weaves his magic, floating around, waving a gracious hand to bring people in and out or increase or decrease the volume. There are moments of chaos that are expertly brought back to the musical themes.
The result is a collaborative, often improvised musical piece, some of which have been performed at corporate gigs and the Brighton Fringe. Instead of sitting in a room talking over ones problems, the language of music is used instead to bypass complicated narratives and cut straight to the soul. It provides a nourishing dousing of love, music and creativity which is enough to make a real differences in people’s lives.