Youth Orchestra that Plays Instruments Made from Garbage Performs in Vancouver

Connector Spring 2016

The Recycled Orchestra of Cateura – a group of youth musicians from Paraguay that play instruments made entirely out of recycled garbage and the subject of the documentary Landfill Harmonic which is slated for release in September – have been brought to Vancouver by a local non-profit that has spent the last few years collecting disused instruments for the group. The group has played for the Queen of Spain and toured worldwide, playing with bands including Megadeth and Metallica.

The youth orchestra, which uses instruments such as a violin made out of a paint can and a drainpipe saxophone with keys made of bottle caps, performed at the Vancouver Playhouse on May 29, after spending May 27 visiting and performing at various schools around Vancouver, and also performing at the UBC Museum of Anthropology.

The orchestra consists of children who live beside one of the largest landfills in South America, where many of their parents also happen to work, salvaging and recycling the garbage they find.

Several years ago, local music teacher Favio Chavez came up with the idea of making instruments out of recycled garbage when he wanted to offer the children free music lessons, but didn’t have enough instruments.

Local nonprofit organization Instruments Beyond Borders formed after seeing a YouTube video of the group that went viral in 2013.

Over the past few years the group has been collecting disused instruments for donation to the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, as well as to the Saint James Music Academy – which provides free music lessons to Vancouver’s inner city youth.

As the organization grows, Instruments Beyond Borders hopes to donate to other similar organizations that provide free music education for children.

Source: CBC News