You may already be familiar with this story but I just heard about it last week. It was discovered in 2010 that there was a very poor community in Paraguay that has its own childrens orchestra. That's not even the most amazing part. ALL of the instruments being used in the Orchestra are being made out of recycled materials: TRASH, GARBAGE as in all the stuff you and I throw away. Apparently this little town in Paraguay mostly exists because it has been chosen as the landfill location for all the surrounding areas. So trucks and trucks of trash come in every week and many residents and children earn there poverty level wages by walking through the huge mounds and picking through the trash. Along the way someone got the beautiful idea of creating musical instruments out of these materials AND then to start teaching the children of the community how to play them. Trust me when I tell you that you will not believe the sound of this orchestra when you see and hear them.
Originally dubbed "The Recycled Orchestra", this amazing band of musicians plays violins, violas, cellos, basses, percussion, clarinets, flutes, almost every instrument imaginable in an orchestra (I'm looking for the brass instruments now, I'm sure they are there). I just can't believe how good this children's orchestra sounds and to think they are making this beautiful music with what was once someone else's trash is just incredible. The very best part of this is how learning and playing music has made these children so much happier, more relaxed and more self-confident in their lives. They will be forever changed because of what music has given to them.
A documentary entitled "Landfill Harmonic" is currently being filmed and the story has been featured on many major news outlet including CNN, CBS, The Washington Post, Time Magazine, New York Magazine, Oprah Magazine and NPR. The children and their instruments have also begun to take trips to other countries where they perform and are very well received. Here is the news story by CBS that first brought this amazing phenomenon to my attention: CBS News: The-Recyclers-From-Trash-Triumph There was also a Kickstarter campaign that ended about a year ago that helped raise funds for finishing the documentary. This page has a lot of very useful and interesting information about the orchestra and the people that originally and continue to make it possible: Landfill Harmonic Kickstarter - Campaign has ended but excellent info on the project And here is a link to their documentary which hopefully we'll be coming out soon: Landfill Harmonic The Movie
Lastly here's a YouTube clip showing the orchestra and a little more background information:
So lets ask ourselves: If children from one of the poorest area's of the world can create beautiful music out of nothing more than other people's trash, then we all can do incredibly amazing things using nothing more than the power of music.
Please share your comments and feedback below - Would love to know your thoughts on this wonderful story.
Music, Love & Laughter,
~Vincent James @ LoveSongs.com
p.s. KEEP MUSIC ALIVE Day #2 - Visit our first post from Tuesday July 1st for more information about our mission