Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Landfill Harmonic

"The world sends us garbage. We send back music." This is the slogan of the Landfill Harmonic, also known as the recycled orchestra, a project taken place at Cateura, Paraguay. I can poorly explain what this is about, so I will cite their web-page.

Chávez got to know these kids and their families over 8 years ago while working on a waste recycling project at the landfill of Cateura. In this area more than 40% of children don’t finish school because their parents need them to work. Being an environmental engineer but with a musical background, one day he decided to help the children by teaching them music lessons. The idea was simply to keep the kids from playing in the landfill.


“At first it was very difficult because we had no place to rehearse and we had to teach in the same place where the parents were working in the trash,” said Chávez. “The children knew nothing about music and it was very difficult to contact parents because many of them do not live with their children.”
Eventually, parents began to see that playing music was keeping their kids out of trouble, some even reclaiming children they had previously abandoned.
Soon there were more children wanting lessons than there were instruments, so Chávez and Nicolas “Cola” one of the garbage pickers experimented with making some out of recycled materials from the landfill.  String and wind instruments are made with oil tin cans, forks, bottle caps, and whatever is around.  “Eventually the recycled instruments were improved, and in many cases, they now sound better than the wooden Made In China instruments the more able children play on.”
The recycled instruments serve another, more practical purpose: The kids can safely carry them. “For many children, it was impossible to give them a violin to take home because they had nowhere to keep it and their parents were afraid they would be robbed or the instrument would be sold to buy drugs.”



After learning of those people, I could only think of how lucky we are to have our instruments on the orchestra, and it made me appreciate everything that I have a little more. So pay attention, and try to dee the things around you with more gratitude. 

JFOB, 10th

16 comments:

  1. It's pretty amazing that they can make instruments out of pure garbage that sound great. I'd comment that it's amazing they sound better than our orchestra, but of course that is neither amazing nor surprising. Our orchestra lacks any semblance of passion... lame... but it's not our fault since a lot of the people who are in orchestra don't want to be there. You can't force passion...

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  2. I think its super cool that they made their interments out of garbage. The interments sound really good and the kids look so happy and passion about it. They kids playing also sounds really good.

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  3. I would have never thought that you could make instruments out of garbage and have them sound just like normal instruments. I think they really cool to. They have their own personality then having every violin look the same. I would want one of these. I like how all the kids are really committed to their music and how they love their instruments and they work hard.

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  5. It seems pretty cool having a movement about making music with recycled products. It comes to show we can do anything if we work hard to achieve it.

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  6. Wow, those instruments are so cool! Its such a unique idea to make instruments made of trash, its great recycling, and the kids can take them home! Its also sweet how music has given them something to do instead of drugs. I hope they get to tour the world like some other orchestras.

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  7. What a beautiful program! It really does show the impact music has on our lives. It's hard for me to go even one day without listening to music! Music is such a wonderful way to express our emotions. I also love how they make the instruments out of trash, because they are not only teaching the importance of recycling and reusing, but showing these kids that you can make the most of any situation. I hope we don't take all the instruments and Orchestra classes for granted, because they truly are a blessing. :)

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  9. Are you Juan Fer Orellana? Just asking. Anyway, I don't really like orchestra class in our school. However I think it is blessing that we take these classes with proper instruments.

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  10. Everyone is always complaining about orchestra class in school, but they don't see the tremendous blessing having a class like that is. I can't imagine how many people dream of having the opportunity to play something. There are many people in the world that would appreciate what we consider is torture; orchestra class. I love how they don't need real instruments to play beautifully and to reach the deep part of people's hearts. I would love to start a program like this one in Guatemala, but we all know that it wouldn't go as well as this one.

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  11. I saw some part of the video and I really like the idea that they have created their own instruments only with the materials that they have. I think they are really passionate about music that they can make with their hand made instruments. They can be seen as a better orchestra than us since sometimes we just complain about how we don't want to play in orchestra class and we don't think about how we can work to make the music harmonious. I wish we could also be passionate like how they are with their music.

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  12. It was so cool how this people played their instruments, and it was very interesting how they built their instrument.

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  13. I think this video is really interesting and inspiring. I think it's really cool how they managed to do such complicated things with such simple things.

    Mr diego maerens

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  14. I think this video is really interesting and inspiring. I think it's really cool how they managed to do such complicated things with such simple things.

    Mr diego maerens

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