BBC Arts ask the nation to Get Creative, forming the BBC Lockdown Orchestra to play You Got The Love
Public to perform and sing on track with BBC Orchestras, BBC Singers and the Ulster Orchestra as part of a UK-wide performance for Get Creative festival.
As part of a ten-day creative challenge for the Get Creative festival, BBC Arts and BBC Radio 3 are asking the nation to dust off their instruments and warm up their vocal cords to join the BBC Lockdown Orchestra in a national collaborative rendition of the 1986 anthem of hope You Got The Love by The Source featuring Candi Staton - which Florence + The Machine brought to renewed fame in 2009 with their cover version, You’ve Got The Love.
The public is being invited to film and upload their performances to bbc.co.uk/getcreative, where their submissions will join those of the BBC Lockdown Orchestra to create a track which will premiere across BBC Radio on Thursday 14 May, and debut as a music video on BBC Four at 8.55pm later that day.
The newly formed BBC Lockdown Orchestra is made up of 100 professional musicians from all over the UK, including members of the BBC Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC Singers and the Ulster Orchestra - and this virtual performance marks the first time the BBC’s musicians and singers have collaborated in this way.
Those who want to join in with the song can use the backing track and musical score available on bbc.co.uk/getcreative from Monday, 4 May 2020. The score can be used in different ways by beginner, intermediate and advanced musicians, allowing everyone to have a go. Once submissions have been uploaded by the deadline on Sunday, 10 May 2020 at 11.59pm, BBC Studios will create a final mix of the UK public and the BBC Lockdown Orchestra’s performances for a track on radio and a music video for TV and online.
We’re also delighted to be supported by celebrity guests, with a mix of musical backgrounds, who are encouraging the public to get involved. So far names signed up include BBC Radio 3 presenter Katie Derham; viral drumming BBC weatherman Owain Wyn Evans; and BBC Radio 6 Music presenter and funk & soul DJ, Craig Charles.
As part of the initiative, members of the public - who might not play musical instruments or sing - are being asked to make something with love, whether that’s a drawing, dancing, or decorating a cake, which they wish they could share with a loved one. If they share the results via photos and video on the BBC, they could be included in the final film.
The participation elements this year are part of the BBC’s wider Culture in Quarantine initiative, continuing to bring arts and culture into the homes of the public, despite covid-19 restrictions.
Alan Davey, Controller of BBC Radio 3 and Classical Music: Proms and Performing Groups, says: “This is a unique chance for the public to show their musical skills in the company of the world-renowned BBC orchestras and choirs, and contribute to an inspiring version of this uplifting song. Guitar or trumpet, violin or voice - bring what you will and join in a massive, awe-inspiring performance.”
Jonty Claypole, Director of BBC Arts, says: “The ambition of Culture in Quarantine is to ensure the UK continues to have access to great art and culture - and can take part and share too. Get Creative began as a participatory creativity campaign five years ago and in that time has fostered a large network of partners, communities and individual participants. At a time of national lockdown, it is perfectly placed to support a project of the scale, reach and joy of You Got the Love.”
Katie Derham, presenter on BBC Radio 3, says: “If you've ever dreamed of playing in a BBC orchestra or singing with the BBC Singers… now is your chance! Join with the BBC Lockdown Orchestra. You don't have to be a virtuoso, just join in and have a go, and be part of something really special. I may dust off my violin... though maybe humming along would be kinder for everyone!”
Owain Wyn Evans, the BBC’s drumming weatherman, said: “This is a fabulous idea, I can’t wait to get involved! I’ve been playing the drums since I was eight years old, and having the opportunity to play 'alongside' albeit in lockdown, such fabulous musicians is going to be incredible. PLUS this is such a feel-good song... I can’t wait to play along.”
Funk & soul DJ Craig Charles will be encouraging BBC Radio 6 Music listeners to get involved, and plans to submit a video of him playing the piano to the track. He said: “It’s great to be a part of something we can get down to during the lockdown!”
The Get Creative festival, now in its fifth year, is a UK-wide celebration of have-a-go creativity encouraging everyone to try a new creative hobby. Due to global events, the festival has changed its line-up to include a host of activities that the public can join in with from the comfort of their home. Organised by the BBC and 10 other partners, there are activities for everyone to join in and get creative.
Florence + The Machine were discovered through BBC Music Introducing in 2008 and went on to become a global phenomenon. The 2009 track You’ve Got The Love from Florence + The Machine was a cover of the 1986 release from The Source & Candi Staton, and has had over 1.8 million combined sales/streams, peaking at number five in the UK Official Charts.
The musicians and singers in the BBC Lockdown Orchestra are providing the backing track to support anyone who wants to get involved. They each recorded their contributions to the track from members’ individual homes, which were then arranged and produced by Steve Pycroft, co-founder of the Kaleidoscope Orchestra.
Members of the public can still experience being a part of the BBC Lockdown Orchestra by playing and singing along to the backing track using online parts, which will be available until August.