Sawchestra was created in 2008 by James (Foz) Foster, known for his work as guitarist and composer with ‘The Monochrome Set’ and ‘David Devant and his Spirit Wife’, Sara Passmore and Andrew Page. After much talk, cups of tea and improvisation sessions a plan for a performance was created. This was Sawchestra’s first official outing and called ‘Sawchestra perform Musical Surgery. We recruited some like minded musicians, performers and artists including: Baron Gilvan -painter, trombonist and baritone singer, Paul Harrison - inventor, electronic musician and percussionist, Tony Gill - percussionist and experimentalist, Adriano Fettucini - bagpige player and performer and Mike Stoakes who was to complete his painting of an operation during the performance.

The first performance of ‘Musical Surgery’ was at Brighton’s live art venue ‘The Basement’ and consisted of a real operating gurney covered in toy instruments and objects used for percussion, a real operating theatre light and the performers dressed in surgical robes. The narrative of the piece was based around an operation with the aim of bringing the ‘patient’ back to life. Instruments includes; Musical Crutches, theremins, Paul’s musical creations and a six foot woodman’s saw. Although called ‘Sawchestra’ this performance only featured two saw players; Sara and Foz.

This performance lead to several outings in 2008 by the core members and the establishment of Sawchestra as an on going project.

The Sawchestra now consists of up to 12 (and counting) saw players who regularly meet to improve their saw playing and plan new projects, these include; Foz, Sara Passmore, Sarah Aplin, Jules Lawrence, Kate Shields, Bunny De Sade, Tony Gill, Sue Bradley, Tim Piltcher, Paul Harrison and Sarah Angliss as a regularly invited special guest.