This upright bass was the first instrument the audience wanted to "meet" at The Recycled Orchestra concert on April 30, 2014. The concert, held at Steinbach Mennonite Church, was part of a Canadian tour. The orchestra was from Paraguay. The instruments were from the landfill where the student musicians live. And the orchestra's enthusiastic conductor invited the audience of over 850 to pick which instruments they would like to meet. He explained (through a translator) what each instrument was made out of. The bass was an oil can of some kind, with a neck made out of pallet wood, and the strings had been purchased.
The orchestra's repertoire included John Lennon's "Imagine," "Suite No.1" by Bach, "Canon in D," and the "Pink Panther." Instruments included everything from trumpets to violas, flutes, saxophones and a cello. And the materials used to make the instruments included cookie tins, paint cans, containers, baking pans, wooden spoons, forks, pipes, buttons, beer caps and coins.
In talking about the sax, the conductor explained that this particular sax had a key made out of a Guarani (Paraguayan currency). One Guarani is equivalent to $0.00025 Canadian dollars. They had another saxophone where they used $1 Canadian as a key. So technically, that sax should have been worth much more. But the Canadian coin broke, and the Guarani is still going. So, he explained, in music the Guarani is worth much more than the dollar.
A big thank you to Global Family Foundation who is coordinating The Recycled Orchestra's Canadian tour, and to G & E Homes for their sponsorship of a fundraising event for the tour earlier this year.
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About the Steinbach Arts Council
The Steinbach Arts Council, an umbrella organization for performing and visual arts groups, enriches the lives of our community through development of local artists and musicians and exposure to professional art forms. The Steinbach Cultural Arts Centre is a home for all these groups and their programs. It’s purpose is to create an environment where all arts disciplines can work together under one roof and share their resources and their talents with each other, and the entire Arts Community!