Scrapheap Orchestra


1 x 90' Sunday 11 December 2011 BBC Four

Is it possible to make beautiful music out of garbage?

Inspirational conductor Charles Hazlewood is going to find out. This 90-minute documentary follows him challenging a group of the UK's top instrument makers to transform junk, broken furniture and the contents of road-side skips, into instruments worthy of a place in a symphony orchestra. For the first time ever, an entire orchestra of 44 working instruments will be built from scrap.

The BBC Concert Orchestra put their reputations on the line agreeing to use the instruments to stage what they hope will be a flawless performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture at the 2011 Proms... But will the Scrapheap Orchestra pass muster at the mother of all classical musical festivals?
Charles’quest to build an orchestra out of rubbish is more than just a musical spectacle. In following the design and construction of the instruments, we explore the history of instrument making and the science of music... Why different instruments are made the way they are, why some designs haven’t changed for hundreds of years and why, when played together, the sound of an orchestra is unlike anything else on earth.

Conductor Charles Hazlewood
With Thanks to The BBC Concert Orchestra, Benjamin Hebbert, Robert Cain, Andrew Bellis, Pete Oxley, Mick Rath, Andy Taylor, Luke and Heidi Woodhead, Andrew Wheeldon, Daniel Bangham and Paul Jeffries.