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.