05 May 2016 | 8 °C

26 July 2011 | Art & Photography | By: M@

Musical Balloons: Luke Jerram's Sky Orchestra

Musical Balloons: Luke Jerram's Sky Orchestra

Tuesday morning, 5am, Southwark Park. Seven hot air balloons are preparing for flight. The weather is perfect: warm, a light wind, no clouds. A small helium balloon is released to test the wind direction. West. Straight towards the restricted airspace of Heathrow Airport. Our hopes are crushed.

Luke Jerram's Sky Orchestra wowed Londoners on the previous day. Music, specially composed by Dan Jones, poured from the dawn skies as the seven balloons passed over south-east London. There would be no repeat this morning, alas, but us disappointed passengers were treated to a ground-based rendition of the orchestral piece. We captured part of the performance on the video below.

You may have seen the artist's work before. Jerram is the musical brains behind Play Me I'm Yours, the project which saw upright pianos planted about town. His intricate glass sculptures of viruses and bacteria also captured our imagination.

Two more flight attempts are planned: one this evening and one tomorrow morning. We'll share our photos should we manage an ascent.

The Sky Orchestra project is part of the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) with the support of the Mayor of London.


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I was one of the musicians. Disappointed we didn't get to fly, but a very interesting project to be involved in anyway. Thanks for doing the video!

Neville Young

Another musician here - thanks for the video. I can only echo my colleague's comments - sad not to fly, but great to get to play anyway. Cheers.


Tuesday morning's flight featured live musicians (well, half-alive at 5am) from North London Brass, the UK's largest independent brass band network, and from Battle Town Band, East Sussex. To check out all the wonderful community music work we're doing in London, please see our website www.fourhillsmusic.co.uk


Thanks guys. You were all brilliant, if not as vertically impressive as we'd all hoped ;-)


Can someone let us know if an attempt to fly will be made on Wednesday morning? I have only just found this thread and would have loved to have witnessed it!


I'm sure this is a beautiful event to witness and be involved in, but on the flip side, my house backs onto the park and our entire household was woken by the music at 5:30am. And in the school holidays!!!! Was MOST unimpressed this morning, - can be more charitable right now, but most probably less so if I have a screaming baby and 2 other children woken at the same time tomorrow.....


Drove to London. No wind. No balloons. Park locked up and not due to open until 8am.

✮Samantha Jayne✮

Do you know when the sky orchestra will be back in southwark park?
I was told about this beautiful sight / sound, but i never saw the lift off on mon morning