About us

We are an orchestra.
We sometimes play music written by living humans.
We think basements have great acoustics.
We clap when we want.


People, places, music

Rough Trade Records

Book Slam Annual Vol II: The Launch

28 Nov 2012
We joined Jesse Armstrong, Peter Serafinowicz, Salena Godden and a Rough Trade-ful of lovely book-lovers for the launch of Book Slam's second annual of exclusive short stories, 'Too Much Too Young'.

The Round Chapel, Hackney


20 April 2013
We hung out with Will Self, Andrew Maxwell and a magical chihuahua for a bit, then we treated an audience feasting on gorgeous food to some equally gorgeous music.

G.O.O.D. Inc H.Q.

Secret Cinema presents... 'Brazil'

April-June 2013
Secret Cinema invited its audience to join the ranks of G.O.O.D. Inc employees and explore a 13-storey recreation of Terry Gilliam's satirical dystopia. Basement Orchestra provided unseasonal festive cheer, energy to corporate wellbeing sessions and a moment of sadness. We made the Croydon Guardian.

Bethnal Green Working Men's Club

So Last Century!

17 No 2014
All the best things of the 20th Century: French impressionism, rendering life's smallest tragedies through music; big bands droppin killer swingtime beats to dancefloors packed with lovers and criminals; and the foot-tapping, heart-breaking, groove-making sensations of the squelchiest of funk. This all brought to you by Basement Orchestra, Duke Street Big Band and Black Forest Ghetto.

Utopia Airlines Terminal, Hackney

Future Shorts - 10th Anniversary Party

30 Nov 2013
To celebrate the tenth year of Future Shorts, now a legend of cinema's antiestablishment, Utopia Airlines took passengers on a tour of favourite short films from the past decade. We took our instruments aboard and made music at 30,000 feet.

Central Foundation Boys' School

School Supper Party

10 May 2014
Culture, music, food, and tap dance, in a school canteen much fancier than we remember.

The Garden

Secret Garden Party

July 2014
Nothing says 'summer magic' nor 'wreckless abandon' quite like a glittery chamber orchestra playing Debussy. So when the Head Gardener invited us to join the fun, who were we to say no?

The Tin Tabernacle

Wood, Tin, Brass & String

17 Jan 2015
We played to a sold-out crowd at the Tin Tabernacle - built by Scottish railway workers, bisieged with bombs, home to the actual altar from the film 'Beckett' and now basecamp of the local Sea Cadets and their formidable collection of rope. It was a chilly evening to put your hands around something or someone warm, settle down in between the oars and go on a voyage with us.

Wherever you are...

The music we've played

beautiful music in unexpected places


We need you.

We are an amateur orchestra of musicians looking for something a bit different. All our players have quite a bit of playing experience, in all kinds of different orchestras, bands and miscellaneous ensembles. We play music. We have fun. If you'd like to join us, select your section...

Get in Touch

We are stronger together.

We love making music, experiences and happenings in collaboration with other people and groups who share our passion for the unexpected. If you're intersted in working with us, or would like us to bring some music to an event you're creating, don't be shy.