Sunday, 2 September 2012

Coldplay and Charles Hazlewood's Paraorchestra

For a very long time, I was wondering why the Olympics and Paralympics featured so many British artists and yet Coldplay never appeared. They've been on the British music scene for 13 years since their debut album Parachutes. I've personally always had a soft spot for Coldplay (Chris Martin's falsetto has the right balance of polished and mature vs. fragile and raw, not to mention his talent in songwriting) but even if you're not a fan of their music, you have to admit that their music represents 'Britishness'. Every country in the world knows who Coldplay is.

My anxiousness about Coldplay not featuring in any of the Olympic/Paralympic celebrations has paid off though. Hundreds of musicians will be performing Viva la Vida around the UK at the same time to mark the end of the Paralympics, AND Coldplay will be joining Charles Hazlewood's 'Paraorchestra' in the closing ceremony.

Charles Hazlewood has campaigned vigorously for his Paraorchestra to perform in the closing ceremony of the Paralympics since the beginning of this year, putting pressure on Cameron and Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt. His inspiration has been a personal one, as his daughter suffers from cerebral palsy. The paraorchestra is formed of 17 performers with disabilities including one-handed pianist, Nicholas McCarthy (who has featured heavily in the news recently), and Lyn Levett who has severe cerebral palsy and operates an iPad with her nose.

Channel 4 will be airing an hour-long documentary next Sunday about the orchestra. For now though, do visit the Paraorchestra website to check out the musicians and watch this incredible video:

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