Up first: A gong hanging under a U-shaped bike rack that acts as an impromptu musical instrument. “I ride my bike around the city a lot, so I’m always using bike racks,” Zisiadis says. “There’s just this very funny space underneath them, empty and unutilized. It was an opportunity for micro-interaction: The things that we do every single day, all the time, are the largest opportunity for positively affecting people’s lives.”
Making music is a pretty powerful thing. Especially if you’re making it out of recycled objects and keeping things out of landfills.
“Landfill Harmonic,” an upcoming documentary scheduled for release in 2014, tells the story of an orchestra whose musicians play instruments made from trash. The film is set in the town of Cateura, Paraguay, which is built on a landfill. Many of the town’s residents collect trash to recycle and sell for money, and many of the town’s children are susceptible to getting involved with gangs or drugs. A music program was set up to help keep the kids out of trouble, but because so many of them were interested, there was soon a shortage of instruments.
Music, like play, has been shown to have so many cognitive benefits, and emotional as well (plus even the act of music is called “playing”). There is something very deeply rooted in humanity about playing music, it is wonderful that through ingenuity and creativity these kids can channel their energy into the incredible power of making music. Plus the fact that they’re keeping things out of landfills is just a double bonus!