In my last blog I wrote about artists who are creating incredible art from recycled materials, while providing livelihoods for impoverished families and communities. This same spirit of creative ingenuity and resourcefulness is taking place in the world of music where instruments are being fashioned from garbage and recycled materials, enabling many more people to play and experience music. I find this very exciting because the power of imagination and creative ingenuity to create positive change is a reoccurring theme in my work. The town of Cateura is located on top of a mountain of garbage in Paraguay where 1,500 tons of solid waste is dumped every day. Home to 2,500 families, many survive as recyclers, selling everything that they can find. Favio Chavez came there to work on a recycling project and saw that the children of the recyclers had very little to do. He began to teach them how to play music using his own instruments. As the number of students grew and there wasn't enough instruments for everyone, one of the trash pickers, Nicolas Gomez, created additional ones from recycled materials. Some of these children are now part of the ensemble known as The Recycled Orchestra, which travels the world.
Musician Jair Rezende has transformed his community and world culture through his band, Lactomia. These young musicians from Salvador Bahia, Brazil, use discarded cans, bottle caps and plastic to make a wide range of instruments and costumes. Film director, David Zucker, has documented their story and incredible music in the film, Found Sounds Bahia.
Ingenious Youth Fashion Musical Instruments from Trash and Trinkets!