Crowd Out: the journey begins


Earlier this month, we packed our bags and headed up to Birmingham for a weekend all about Crowd Out, a large-scale composition for 1,000 voices written by Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lang.

This is our Director of Learning and Participation Clare Lovett’s account of the day:

‘Over the weekend, we met with Crowd Out partners Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Berlin Philharmoniker, conductor Simon Halsey and composer David Lang together with 25 vocal leaders from Berlin, London and Birmingham.  This was the very first gathering of all the artists and management for this tremendous project and therefore our first opportunity to read through and get inside the piece.  Over the weekend we slowly released 150 members of the public from Birmingham into these preliminary rehearsals and even featured a surprise mini flash mob at Millennium Point (BCMG’s venue) where we tested out the acoustics and staging potential. We all witnessed the amazing reaction of the visitors to Millennium Point, including a group of thirty local brownies who felt compelled to spontaneously take part during their visit to the science centre!

Back in London, we’re now hard at work arranging logistics and working with our partners THAMES, LSO Discovery and Friends of Arnold Circus to recruit our performers.  For such a large-scale project, we will be dealing with everything from closing the roads to checking out the timings of the World Cup for football matches, to finding spaces large enough to rehearse the piece and building strong links with our friends in and around the Boundary Estate.

We’re thrilled to be entering a new chapter in the development of relationships with our community in Arnold Circus and East London, and audiences, both local, national and further afield. As part of an extraordinary family of commissioners, vocal leaders, students, arts partners and members of the public, Crowd Out presents a spectacular opportunity for people from all walks of life to come together and create new music.

In anticipation of greatness…’

Clare Lovett
Programme Director: Learning & Participation 

If you want to get involved in Crowd Out email There will be a free introduction session on Saturday 7 December with Join the Crowd from 2.30pm-6.00pm (booking required), followed by a wintery celebration of music-making at Arnold Circus from 5.30pm-6.30pm.


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