Tuesday, 16 July 2013

THE LANDFILL HARMONIC ORCHESTRA

“Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has.” - Billy Graham
 

Every so often one reads a snippet in the news, or sees something on the internet and is struck by its contents. This happened to me the other day when I read about the “Landfill Harmonic Orchestra” of Paraguay (La Armonía del Vertedero - Orquesta de Instrumentos Reciclados de Cateura). This was a poignant and inspiring video that made me stop, think and recontextualise my everyday existence and the “problems” I deal with every day.
 

The Landfill Orchestra is a children’s music group in Catuera, Paraguay, whose instruments are made from rubbish that has been dumped in the landfill.  A cello made from an oil can and pieces of wood, that were thrown in the rubbish; a saxophone made of spoons and buttons, violins made of tin cans and pieces of thrown-away wood. These instruments are made by Nicolas, a “recycler” who has no previous experience making musical instruments. He is like many others in Catuera who live a hand-to-mouth existence, sorting through rubbish and recycling in the slum by the garbage dump in Catuera.
 

Inspired by this initiative and resourcefulness in the face of adversity, Maestro Luis Szaran, director of “Sounds of the Earth” formed the “recycled orchestra” comprising children living near the rubbish dump. The guiding light of these children is hope and the inspiration to become better people. Making music with their recycled instruments teaches them to be good people not only to be musicians. To work together in order to make order out of chaos, pleasure out of pain, companionship out of isolation, creativity out of destruction and peace out of strife is a means of building a better world for themselves.
 

This group is worthy of support and encouragement. You can do this in a very real and substantive manner – visit their YouTube channel to find out how.

3 comments:

  1. That is amazing! Bravo bravissimo to all those young players and their maestro!

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  2. Nothing short of miraculous!

    ReplyDelete