BREXIT BIG BAND
a collaboration across europe
The Brexit Big Band is the controversial, ever-evolving musical collaboration created by Matthew Herbert as an artistic response to the E.U. referendum (June 23rd 2016) and the triggering of Article 50.
The two year collaborative project right across Europe celebrating artistic and musical collaboration and communities across national borders began in England when the UK government triggered Article 50 on March 29th 2017 and has run in parallel across Europe with concerts, recording sessions and workshops, culminating in an album release date at the same moment that Britain leaves the EU in 2019
Concerts, workshops and recording sessions have taken place in Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Italy and the UK. The final album aims to feature over 1000 musicians and singers from Britain and the continent.
At each show, The Brexit Big Band changes much of its personal, working with local European amateur and professional choirs (with Choral Music Director Esmeralda Conde Ruiz) and local European musicians who perform alongside the Band’s regular lead players (working with Big Band Conductor Pete Wraight).
In the spirit of full transparency, the Brexit Big Band have released details of what to expect from them in the coming months in a statement from bandleader Matthew Herbert:
“I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks Brexit is going well. Jacob Rees Mogg is telling investors to take their money out of the UK. Nigel Lawson is moving to France. Parts of the Leave campaign broke the law and Nigel Farage has floated the idea of a second referendum. Furthermore ‘take back control’ apparently doesn’t extend to our own parliament, the majority of whom have voted against giving themselves any say over the deal and its consequences. Two years in and there’s still no plan from the government and we’re only a few months away now. It’s embarrassing, disheartening and utterly devoid of a positive vision for the kind of place we might want Britain to be. This is where the Brexit Big Band comes in.
Since we were last in the news…
we have walked the Northern Ireland border, recording sounds as we go.
we have dismantled a Ford Fiesta in to its component parts
we have someone swimming the Channel for us
we’re recording in a fish and chip shop in Grimsby
we are recording the demolition of a British factory
we took part in one of the silent marches for Grenfell
we’ve written a song in German
we’ve made a symphony of endangered animals
we’re recording inside a World War 2 aircraft
we recorded a German passport misbehaving in Nigel Farage’s local pub
we’re trying to organise a concert on a cross channel ferry
And finally, we have turned much of the abuse we got last year into lyrics, including tweets from the Secretary General of UKIP.
Joint the conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram: /brexitbigband
The Brexit Big Band is a two year collaborative project right across Europe celebrating artistic and musical collaboration and communities across national borders.
The project will begin in England at the point at which the UK government triggers Article 50 and then run in parallel across Europe with concerts, recording sessions and workshops, culminating in an album release date at the same moment that Britain leaves the EU in 2019
this project aims to be a creative, internationally collaborative response to brexit and questions around british identity.
it respects democratic principles, in particular accepting that the uk voted to leave, but is interested in being part of the passionate conversation about what happens next.
it believes a healthy society can’t be measured just through the metrics of economics but also in the quality and abundance of its access to nature, culture, art, justice, food, friendships and love.
it sees fundamental value in equality, tolerance, human rights and freedoms rather than the prioritising of borders and differences.
Madrid, Spain - 29/06/18 - Verranos de la Villa 2018, Plaza de Colon
Montreux, Switzerland - 30/06/18 - Montreux Jazz Festival
Berlin, Germany - 27/07/18 - Wassermusik Festival 2018
London, UK - 18/08/18 - Ronnie Scott's Live in the Square
Leipzig, Germany - 17/10/18 - Jazztage Festival
Rome, Italy - 25/11/18 - Romaeuropa