(Video link here.)  Susan Dworski alerted us to this stunning video, in an email with the subject line: “ah, the improvisational human spirit”.  It’s about a remarkable orchestra from a remote village in Paraguay — a slum built on landfill — where its young musicians play with instruments made from foraged trash. The village’s inhabitants eke out a living by culling saleable items and materials in the huge dump. When a half-destroyed violin was found, Nicolas Gomez had the idea to rehabilitate it using found materials; the improvisation of other instruments followed.

It is astonishing to hear the wondrous first strains of Bach’s Suite No.1 in G major Prélude played on a cello improvised out of “an oil can, wood that was thrown away in the garbage…its pegs made out of an old tool used to tenderize beef and to make gnocchi…” 

…And to hear how these kids lives have been changed by music: “When I listen to the sound of a violin, I feel butterflies in my stomach.” Says Music Director Favio Chavez, “The world sends us garbage. We send back music.”

Susan went on to report: “There’s so much being done in South America with kids and classical music. These kids who begin by making instruments out of junk often go on to real orchestras, like this one.

Yes, “the improvisational human spirit”! When there appears to be nothing, there is always something.

Thanks a million, Susan!

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role model: fast forward on $$, improvising and music
new music from the vegetable orchestra

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3 replies on “‘the world sends us garbage, we send back music.’

  1. Helping young minds and are environment as well! this video really inspired me. I am currently studying the violin in the Atlanta area. I got signed up with Encore Music Lessons and they found me a great teacher. I cant wait to show her this video!

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