The Recycled Orchestra: Paraguayan Youth Play Mozart with Instruments Cleverly Made Out of Trash

“One man’s trash is anoth­er man’s trea­sure” — it’s a say­ing they’re tak­ing to heart in Cateu­ra, Paraguay, a small town where impov­er­ished fam­i­lies live along a vast land­fill. Cateu­ra’s res­i­dents can’t afford many things that Amer­i­can fam­i­lies often take for grant­ed, and that includes buy­ing new musi­cal instru­ments for their kids. Indeed, in Cateu­ra, your gar­den vari­ety vio­lin costs more than the aver­age home. But that has­n’t stopped the town from assem­bling a youth cham­ber orches­tra that per­forms music by Mozart, Beethoven and the Bea­t­les. The instru­ments they play are made from the trash that sur­rounds them. Oil cans become cel­los; alu­minum bowls get forged into vio­lins. And the music they make suf­fers not one bit. This inspi­ra­tional sto­ry will be told in an upcom­ing fea­ture-length doc­u­men­tary called Land­fill Har­mon­ic. You can keep an eye out for the film by fol­low­ing its Face­book page, and learn more about The Recy­cled Orches­tra by read­ing this inter­view. H/T Kim

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Comments (8)
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  • Lesley Chapman says:

    That was tru­ly remark­able and fash­ion­ing those bits of trash into musi­cal instru­ments is amaz­ing.

  • sTEVW says:

    Some of the instru­ments, like the trum­pet, looked like they weren’t made from recy­cled parts… And the bows / strings, were they recy­cled?

  • donna shokeir says:

    Heart­warm­ing to think of the gen­eros­i­ty of spir­it, time and tal­ent that made this oppor­tu­ni­ty for the young peo­ple who have respond­ed so beau­ti­ful­ly. They are now able to enrich the world with their music.

  • Alexov says:

    TEVW, obvi­ous­ly not all of the parts of the instru­ments could be made from rub­bish. Big deal. It’s just great that these kids show this enthu­si­asm for the music and learn­ing to play. Maybe a trum­pet or two were thrown out by some­one. Big deal. Maybe not all of the instru­ments were recy­cled from rub­bish. Big deal.

  • asker says:

    what’s the name of the 1st song?

  • Evlynn says:

    Alex­ov says, “big deal”. Bet a bunch he can­not do it! Per­haps he is a bit jeal­ous and/or envi­ous. And Alex­ov, what do you show enthu­si­am for?????? Rag­ging oth­er peo­ple, being a big mouth, and heav­en only knows what else.……? Per­haps you would do well to show enthu­si­am for some­thing a bit con­struc­tive.
    God be with you.…..If your think­ing con­tin­ues on the same line, you could be in trou­ble in the future. Nev­er too old to change Alex­ov. Only too stu­pid per­haps.….???
    These chil­dren have accom­plished some­thing won­der­ful and enjoy­able. They also love doing it. That is what makes life worth while. Not to men­tion they are all over­flow­ing with inge­nu­ity. What a real­ly great bunch of Kids.

  • Hedgehog minx says:

    I believe it is more impor­tant to enrich them­selves, they have so very lit­tle, they should not be liv­ing on repub­lish dumps. That is what is hap­pen­ing to so many, in the scrap heap, lit­er­al­ly.
    No‑o e should be deval­ued like this, it is shame­ful and I see their beau­ti­ful, quest­ing spir­its ris­ing above it all, it us a crime against human­i­ty that so many gave far too much and oth­ers have noth­ing. Time to look, think and share, offer, care and stop this.

  • Hedgehog minx says:

    Few errors, sor­ry, new glass­es next week. Will see bet­ter.

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