“When you think of an orchestra, you’re probably picturing refined woodwinds, brass, and strings,” writes Anastasia Tsioulcas on Thursday (9/15) at National Public Radio. “But one ensemble I recently met is made up mostly of kids who play instruments made out of literal trash. This is the Recycled Orchestra from Cateura, Paraguay, and their group is the subject of a new documentary film. Cateura is not a town, really. It’s a slum alongside a landfill, located not far from Paraguay’s capital city, Asunción.… The Recycled Orchestra was founded 10 years ago by Favio Chavez.… Chavez’ classes became so popular that they soon ran out of donated instruments. So he asked Nicolas Gomez, a talented carpenter in the community … to make new instruments for his group—out of stuff from the landfill. Several years ago, the orchestra caught the attention of a team of filmmakers.… The video went viral. Since then, the Recycled Orchestra has performed for politicians, monarchs and Pope Francis. The group plays Mozart, Paraguayan folk music, even Frank Sinatra.… These days, kids from Cateura are flocking to join the orchestra.” The Landfill Harmonic documentary opens in U.S. theaters this month, and screens later on HBO Latino.
Posted September 19, 2016