Bascule Chamber Concerts, 2017

May 14, 2017 in All Opportunities, Composers, Performers by mwhiteside

Two exciting opportunities to perform at this year’s Bascule Chamber Concerts are now open – the unique and atmospheric subterranean space in Tower Bridge. The Bascule Chambers are where Tower Bridge’s huge counterweights swing down as the bridge above ascends.

Curated by Iain Chambers, the Bascule Chambers Concerts made their debut at Totally Thames festival in September 2015 and returned in 2016 to sell-out crowds. This years concerts are being co-curated by DJs, presenters and writers Rita Ray and Max Reinhardt. The team are looking for musicians and spoken word artists and would particularly like to showcase the work of Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) artists. These opportunities are open to all artists regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability.


The Bascule Chambers team want to hear your innovative ideas for creating and performing a new 4-6 minute work that responds to this atmospheric underground space inside Tower Bridge. These giant chambers are built into the river itself, beneath the line of the Thames with the underside of the road forming the chambers’ ceiling. Click here to find out more about this remarkable location.

Your piece will be the closing music of all 14 concerts, performed from the floor of the Accumulator Chamber (see picture below), with audience members viewing from the unique vantage point of the spiral staircase, so this is an artist opportunity not to be missed!

Please note:

  • This cylindrical space has a good natural acoustic. The performance will need to be self-contained – there will be no PA available, but performers can use their own portable amplifier if necessary.
  • Due to the tight confines of the space, this opportunity suits music with no more than 1-2 performers.

Your music should complement the rest of the programme without duplicating it – the concerts will feature music by Steve Reich and Langham Research Centre. Ideas responding to the Bascule Chamber space in some way, for example the surrounding water of the River Thames, bridges, subterranean spaces, etc. are especially encouraged.

Spoken Word Artists, Performance Poets

This is an opportunity for you to create new spoken word work to perform at the concerts. These would be 2 x 2-3 minute long spoken word pieces performed live, in between the music repertoire.

You also have the opportunity to create a short pre-recorded spoken word text, to be played as audiences climb down the 100 steps from street level to the Bascule Chamber before concerts. The descent takes a few minutes, and this is aiming to be a creative way to tell audiences about the space they’re entering, so they are engaged as early as possible.


If you want to be considered for these opportunities, the team would like to know more about your work, and what you would bring to these concerts by performing it live.

1. Send a video or audio recording describing who you are, what music/poetry you have made in the past, what your early ideas are for the brief, and how this will work live. This could be as simple as a video recorded on your phone, and should be no more than 5 minutes long.

2. Submit a link to a video or audio recording of you performing existing work.

For more detailed information on the brief click here. Deadline: Friday 26 May, 5pm to basculechambers@gmail.comIf you need any help with your application, or you have any questions email the team on: Successful entries will be chosen by Thursday 15 June.

Iain Chambers and the Bascule Chamber Concerts are supported by PRS for Music Foundation, and using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.