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The Anatomy of the Orchestra: Drone Refractions

Paraorchestra with Charles Hazlewood

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In The Anatomy of the Orchestra: Drone Refractions, Charles Hazlewood and Paraorchestra turn the orchestra inside-out, charting an immersive drone odyssey via some of Minimalism’s forebears and its greatest composers.

This unique performance re-casts the orchestra as a living, breathing installation: thirty-four musicians are arrayed throughout the space as they play. The audience is invited to walk or sit amongst them, to get close to the performers and sink into a deep sonic realm as enveloping drones mix with heady lighting design to conjure a hazy, transcendental atmosphere.

The repertoire of Drone Refractions is arranged as a triptych. Across approximately fifty minutes, audiences will experience Straylight, a brand new piece by ascendant composer and Paraorchestra affiliate Rylan Gleave, drawing inspiration from Minimialist precursor-prophet John Cage and his seminal work Seventy Four, a new configuration of the legendary Pauline Oliveros’ The Last Time/Ultima Vez by Charlotte Harding featuring the sublime vocals of Victoria Oruwari, and a performance of Fratres by that most holy of Minimalists, Estonian visionary Arvo Pärt.

Part-sound bath, part-ritual, part-installation, Drone Refractions compels audience members to inhabit new musical worlds, to experience the meditative magic of drone and witness these transportive sounds up close as never before. A unique opportunity to be on the inside looking out, rather than the outside looking in.

Presented by Bristol Beacon
Paraorchestra with Charles Hazlewood



Rylan Gleave Straylight
Pauline Oliveros The Last Time/Ultima Vez
Arvo Pärt Fratres

Format: Standing in Stalls

Age: 14+ (Under 18s accompanied by an adult)

The opening introductions to the concert will be BSL interpreted by Shelley Bosdet.


Performance Times

Doors: 19:00
Paraorchestra: 19:30
Finish: 20:30

All timings are approximate and subject to change

“The music ebbs and flows[,] interspersed with explosive climaxes – brilliantly befuddling.”

The Arts Desk on a previous Paraorchestra performance

Ticket Prices

There are two types of ticket available for this performance:

Price: £21.80 incl. booking fee

Open Concession
Price: £16.35 incl. booking fee

Open Concession tickets are designed to allow everyone access to amazing orchestral music. If you cannot pay the standard ticket price at this time, this ticket type is for you. You do not need to explain or prove why you need to access a lower price, but it is there if you need it.



About Beacon Hall

Our new flagship venue at Bristol Beacon

The venue

Beacon Hall

at Bristol Beacon

Getting to the venue

Location: Beacon Hall is located within Bristol Beacon. Head to Level 1 and follow signs to find the auditorium.

Address: Bristol Beacon, Trenchard Street, Bristol, BS1 5AR


Bicycle racks can be found in front of the main entrance on Trenchard Street, Colston Street, and on the city centre promenade. Find your nearest cycle routes using Cycle Planner.

Car parking

Trenchard Street multi-storey car park is 200m away, directly behind Bristol Beacon.

  Bristol Clean Air Zone

Bristol Beacon is inside the Bristol Clean Air Zone. Check if your vehicle will be charged and how much you’ll have to pay.


Most bus services stop in and around the city centre promenade, 250m from Bristol Beacon.

View detailed travel information



Spaces for wheelchair users are in:

  • row S in the centre of the rear Stalls (10 spaces)
  • row Z in the left and right wings at the back of Lower Tier (4 spaces, 2 on each side),
  • rows G/H on the left only at the back of Upper Tier (2 spaces)

Assistance Dogs

Assistance dogs and emotional support animals are allowed in the performance space. Seats in row F are most suitable. If you prefer, you can leave your animal with a member of staff during the performance.

Hearing Facility

A Sennheiser MobileConnect assistive listening system is installed in the venue. Download the free App and use your own mobile device and headphones to listen to the performance. (Devices are available on request.)

View detailed access information

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