05 December 2016 | 4 °C

Musical Balloons: Luke Jerram's Sky Orchestra

M@
By M@ Last edited 65 months ago
Musical Balloons: Luke Jerram's Sky Orchestra
Setting up.
Setting up.
Hyper-inflation.
Hyper-inflation.
dscf1888.jpg
Dragon not pictured.
Dragon not pictured.
dscf1895.jpg
dscf1900.jpg
Balloons at dawn.
Balloons at dawn.
Your intrepid correspondent, failing to ascend.
Your intrepid correspondent, failing to ascend.
Inside the basket.
Inside the basket.
That's Luke Jerram in the foreground.
That's Luke Jerram in the foreground.
"Today we'll be cruising at approximately seven feet."
"Today we'll be cruising at approximately seven feet."
Wide shot of the balloons assembled.
Wide shot of the balloons assembled.

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.

Last Updated 26 July 2011