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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Perhaps Contraption: ‘Twisted Brass, Avant Pop Marching Band’

(Perhaps Contraption)Members of Perhaps Contraption, from left, Jin Theriault, Charly Webber and Emily Cunliffe, performing at Harvard Square as part of the Honk Festival in Cambridge, Mass. (Qainat Khan/Here & Now)Christo Squier of Perhaps Contraption performing at a festival in the UK. (Perhaps Contraption)Perhaps Contraption in Harvard Square (Qainat Khan/ Here & Now)Hannah Davis, of Perhaps Contraption, on glockenspiel in Harvard Square. (Qainat Khan/Here & Now)

Perhaps Contraption is a self-described “astonishing, twisted brass, avant pop marching band” from London.

The members are a mix of conservatory-trained musicians and musicians from the art rock scene.

Their unusual instrumentation includes a saxophone section, drums, French horn, piccolo, sousaphone and glockenspiel.

Nine members of the band were recently on their first U.S. tour, as part of HONK! Festival in Somerville, Mass., Providence, R.I., and New York, N.Y. The Honk Festival is an outdoor music festival of street bands.

“There’s something really powerful about playing on the street acoustically, you can really connect with audiences,” Charly Webber, the alto saxophonist told Here & Now‘s Robin Young.

“We’re not confined to soundchecks and schedules like that,” Christo Squier, the artistic director and piccolo/flute player of the band, agrees. “So that immediacy, where we can change any given situation — a park or street corner and just perform — gives us a lot of freedom and a lot of power to change mundane situations and make them, hopefully, joyous experiences.”

Perhaps Contraption Interactive Music Video


  • Christo Squier, artistic director and flute/piccolo player of Perhaps Contraption. The band tweets @PerhapsContrap.
  • Charly Webber, alto saxophonist of Perhaps Contraption.
  • The rest of the band, who performed in the studio, include: Hannah Davis on glockenspiel, Riccardo Castellani on drums, Iain McDonald on sousaphone, Emily Cunliffe on French horn, Mickey Ball on trombone and Jin Theriault on soprano sax.

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