Arts organisations around the country have been forced to adapt to the changing landscape caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, turning to digital projects to sustain creativity while physical gathering has been restricted. The young musicians from Sydney Youth Orchestras have been working on their own project, The Fractured Orchestra, a collaborative composition project involving the combined 550-strong SYO ensembles.

The Fractured Orchestra A still from  The Fractured Orchestra. Photo courtesy of Sydney Youth Orchestras

“With orchestras unable to get together during the pandemic lockdowns, SYO needed to think of another way to provide a stimulus and a service to our ‘client’ student musicians deprived of collective playing experience,” said SYO Artistic Director Christopher Lawrence, who initiative the project. “So we decided on a substitute collective creative experience; with Beethoven out of the picture for a while, the kids should try and make up their own original stuff, mixing it with their own reflections of life under COVID, through composition, journalism and prediction.”

The project brings together a creative team involving composer and media artist Damian Barbeler, film-maker Sophie Raymond (whose music...