Sunday, December 16, 2012

Joyous Sounds from a Landfill in Paraguay

The Advent season is filled with the sweet sounds of stringed instruments. A harp, a cello, a violin. The wind and brass and percussion instruments also become a part of the mix. But it always comes back to the string instruments. They provide the mild background as we wait in joyful silence and anticipation. It is in that context that I share this uplifting video on the Third Sunday of Advent.  This is the trailer for the documentary Landfill Harmonic, which tells us about a remarkable musical orchestra in Paraguay, where young musicians play instruments made from trash.

Landfill Harmonic movie teaser from Landfill Harmonic on Vimeo.
Here is more information about the documentary from the producers:

Cateura, Paraguay is a town essentially built on top of a landfill,\.  Garbage collectors browse the trash for sellable goods, and children are often at risk of getting involved with drugs and gangs. When orchestra director Szaran and music teacher Favio set up a music program for the kids of Cateura, they soon have more students than they have instruments.

That changed when Szaran and Favio were brought something they had never seen before: a violin made out of garbage. Today, there’s an entire orchestra of assembled instruments, now called The Recycled Orchestra.

The film shows how trash and recycled materials can be transformed into beautiful sounding musical instruments, but more importantly, it brings witness to the transformation of precious human beings.         

Check out the official Web site for Landfull Harmonic

The Associated Press also did a feature on the orchestra.  Here is an excerpt"
"The sounds of a classical guitar come from two big jelly cans. Used X-rays serve as the skins of a thumping drum set. A battered aluminum salad bowl and strings tuned with forks from what must have been an elegant table make a violin. Bottle caps work perfectly well as keys for a saxophone," said The AP (via The Denver Post).  Read More

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