BT River of Music

We supported five collaborations linking British musicians with over 100 artists worldwide as part of BT River of Music. This weekend of free music from performers representing the 204 Olympic and Paralympic nations was presented at iconic sites along the Thames. BT River of Music attracted an audience of 125,000 over the course of the weekend with an estimated broadcast audience of 8,000,000 and an additional 70,000 visiting the BT River of Music website.

Representing all five continents, each project we developed for BT River of Music was a collaboration between UK and overseas musicians. Each collaboration had its own story, reflecting the way we tailor partnerships to the local context.

Since BT RIver of Music, Matthew Herbert has been invited to compose music for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia in 2014. Byron Wallen has been invited to Lagos to work with up and coming brass musicians. Ondatrópica released an album and have since toured across Europe and America. The Black Arm Band would like to develop concepts started in their project, write new material and work with other UK artists.

BT River of Music formed part of the London 2012 Festival and was supported by National Lottery Funds through the Olympic Lottery Distributor and Arts Council England, and was produced by Serious.

We supported the following collaborations:

Africa Stage

King Sunny Ade and his African Beats
From Nigeria, King Sunny Ade, Wizboyy and Weird MC collaborated with Byron Wallen's Adventures in Brass from the UK to celebrate musical common ground.

Americas Stage

Ondatrópica
British musician and producer Will Holland AKA Quantic and Colombian Mario Geleano explored and savoured the popular music of the Colombian Caribbean.

Asia Stage

In Transit
UK cross-cultural dance outfit, Transglobal Underground led a new collaboration with musicians representing UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, telling a story of change and opportunity; of people and cultures in transit.

Europe Stage

Matthew Herbert’s All Russian Big Band
British electronic musician and DJ, Matthew Herbert created a new Russian Big Band and composed two new pieces of music created from sounds of Russia.

Oceana Stage

Mamaith Mother Tongue
Australian Indigenous arts collective Black Arm Band collaborated with alternative Welsh folk roots group 9Bach to explore music connections and the preservation of language and culture through music and song.