The Challenges

Buswell & Nyberg have been creating orchestra challenges since 2011. Below are the list of most of these.

Royal Wootton Bassett Orchestra Challenge – 2011
Composed and arranged music for an entire orchestra, without reading a note of music. Then performed the repertoire with the Royal Wootton Bassett Orchestra at the Wyvern Theatre in Swindon in aid of UK based charity Kick4Life

121212 Underground Orchestra Challenge – 2012
Spent a year travelling around the London Underground, randomly bumping into passengers carrying musical instruments and convinced 68 of them to join him onstage at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire for a one-off concert in aid of Daytrippers, a charity supporting disabled and terminally ill children and young people throughout the UK. 

Edinburgh Fringe Orchestra Challenge – 2014
Spent 10 days running around Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival, and formed a 24 piece orchestra for a one-off concert as part of the Edinburgh Free Fringe.

Geronimo Busking Challenge – 2015
In three days, created a multi-screen music video from 12 buskers and musicians on the streets of London, covering Sheppard’s Geronimo for Decca Records. 

Pilton Pop-up Orchestra – 2015
Formed The Pilton Pop-up Orchestra at Glastonbury Festival which was made up of 40 people who were attending the festival. They performed on a number of stages during the weekend, including the famous Glade Stage. 

10 Day Orchestra Challenge – 2015
Along with Swedish musician Erik Nyberg from Last Box of Sparklers, they travelled around the UK, creating 10 pop-up orchestras in 10 days, with the aim of performing with 100 different musicians, who would perform onstage with no rehearsal, playing music chosen at random by the audience. To make the challenge even harder, Buswell was not allowed to personally seek out and contact musicians himself beforehand, or discuss payment/hire any musician, and they had to live within a 50-mile radius of the venue. They succeeded and performed with 101 musicians.

10 Day Orchestra Challenge – 2016
After the success of the last 10 Day Orchestra Challenge, in 2016, Buswell & Nyberg attempted another challenge, this time to perform with 150 musicians in 10 days. They failed, and only performed with 143. However, the route they took meant they travelled around the UK in the shape of a massive penis, the largest known GPS cock’n’balls ever. Seriously, check it out here.

Paris Orchestra Challenge – 2017
From 1-9th April Buswell & Nyberg formed a 27 piece orchestra from strangers in Paris and recorded an album of 12 songs in Les Studios Ferber in just 6 hours. Check out the challenge here, or order the movie/album here.

Siberian Orchestra Challenge – 2018
From 8-15th July, Buswell & Nyberg will attempt to form an orchestra of at least 25 musicians, and collaborate on a 30 minute set of songs, to then perform at the headline slot at Voice of the Nomads festival in Siberia. Shaun doesn’t speak Russian, although he did once play with members of the Tran-Siberian Orchestra, so he’s hoping that’ll help. To be honest, this challenge is all on Erik. It’s about time he did something. Check out more info about the challenge here.

The Stitch Shoes & An Irish Wristwatch Live Challenge 2018
From 14-30 September, Buswell & Nyberg will attempt to replicate Buswell’s album “Stitch Shoes & An Irish Wristwatch” which is due for release in Jan 2018 through Secret Chord Records. That’s about 150 different instrument parts in 45 minutes. You can read/see the tour dates here.