Ritzy Concert Hall Hosting Symphony Played Entirely On Trash

junkestra photo

Photos by Julio Cesar Martinez via Recology

Recology is a program run out of the San Francisco Dump, bringing artists to the landfill to make new, beautiful things out of whatever they find coming in from trash cans. TreeHugger has visited the dump before, and the art coming from the Recology program is amazing...but now, so too will be the sounds. On May 9th, the symphony hall in San Francisco's Civic Center will come alive with the music of trash, as some 30 instruments made of reclaimed objects sound out a symphony. CNET reports, "Sewer pipes, deck railings, dresser drawers, bike wheels, saws, bathroom fixtures, and bird cages. Symphony musicians will bang, clang, tap, and thump on these and other bits of detritus as they perform Junkestra, a composition played with 30-plus percussive instruments made entirely of objects scavenged at the San Francisco Dump"

junkestra drum photo

Instrument made from 55 gallon drum on a shopping cart was used in Junkestra

Nathaniel Stookey, the composer of the 12-minute musical piece "Junkestra," says "I had no idea when I started writing this piece how beautiful the instruments could sound...I was very surprised by how rich the palette was," Stookey says. "It's really not just a bunch of banging. It sounds like an orchestra. It just sounds like a very strange, exotic orchestra."

Along with Junkestra, audience members will hear Stravinsky's Octet for Wind Instruments, Prokofiev's String Quartet No. 2, and Ravel's Piano Trio alongside the strains of pans and oil drums.

junkestra stage photo

The instruments are completely unique, and while they keep objects out of the landfill, they don't exactly last a long time themselves. As CNET states, "[A]n instrument made from the wooden bars of a deck railing doesn't have the inherent staying power as, say, a sturdy wooden xylophone explicitly engineered and crafted to be hit over and over again. Because they weren't born to be instruments, Junkestra components are starting to show wear."

But Stookey says that he's going to maintain them for as long as possible, and good thing - the orchestra made from trash is going to have a lot more clout after playing at the prestigious Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco.

Follow Jaymi on Twitter
More on Instruments from Reclaimed Materials
Orba Squara's Junk-Shop Sound: New Tunes from Salvaged Instruments
Handmade Music: Make Your Own Instruments From Scratch
Orchestra Plays on Instruments Made of Car Parts

Related Content on Treehugger.com