Tag Archives: recycled orchestra

Recycled Orchestra Exhibit_1

Summer Happenings at the MIM

Save the date (s)! Phoenix’s Musical Instrument Museum has quite a repertoire of special events this summer, including Teacher Appreciation Month in July and the Recycled Orchestra CONCERT in August! Head over to our calendar to see more.

Educator Appreciation Month at MIM: Monday, July 1 – Wednesday, July 31

The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) invites Arizona K‒12 educators to explore nearly 6,000 instruments and artifacts from every country in the world for free during the entire month of July. Current Arizona when all AZ teachers, teachers, school and district administrators, registered student teachers, teacher’s aides and homeschool educators will be granted complimentary admission with a school- or district-issued ID, fingerprint clearance card or (for homeschool educators) an affidavit of intent.

Curator’s Choice Lecture Series: 7 p.m. every Thursday in July

MIM is pleased to announce the Curator’s Choice Lecture Series beginning in July. Enjoy engaging, intelligent topics focused on the world of musical instruments and culture that provide opportunities for deeper learning and compelling conversation. Each lecture examines a different topic presented by a MIM curator. Additional information regarding topics and presenters is coming soon. Tickets: Free with museum admission or $7; free for Circle of Friends donors.

Desert Rose Band: 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 5

Chris Hilman, John Jorgenson and Herb Pedersen of the original Desert Rose Band perform in a rare “unplugged” reunion show. Their trademark blend of country-rock, bluegrass and honky-tonk produced numerous top 10 and number-one hits, not to mention two nominations for Best Vocal Group of the Year by the Academy of Country Music. Tickets: $42.50–$47.50.

Experience France: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat., July 14 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 14

Celebrate French music and culture in honor of Bastille Day! Enjoy live music performances and hands-on activities, shop for French merchandise at the Museum Store and indulge in a French-inspired menu at Café Allegro. This program is sponsored by PetSmart® and supported by Alliance Française of Greater Phoenix. Free with museum admission.

Fanfare Ciocărlia: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 18

anfare Ciocărlia is one of the world’s greatest live bands, whose energy and ingenuity have won them fans around the globe. Fanfare’s members proudly approach every concert as a challenge to both entertain audiences and keep the true spirit of gypsy music alive. Fanfare’s musicians take pride in their ability to play as an extremely fast and tight unit, utilizing timpani, trumpets, horns and clarinets. Tickets: $34.50–$42.50.

John Scofield’s Überjam Band: 7 and 9 p.m. Sat., July 20

The eclectic electric guitarist John Scofield left Berklee College of Music about 40 years ago to perform with Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan. Since then, he has found wide success throughout the jazz community. Scofield is a masterful jazz improviser whose music generally falls somewhere between post-bop, funk-edged jazz and R&B. Tickets: $29.50–$42.50.

Teachers’ Preview Day: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Sat., July 20 and 12 – 3 p.m. Sunday, July 21

Educators can take an in-depth look at MIM’s educational offerings for the 2013‒2014 school year during the museum’s Teachers’ Preview Days on Saturday, July 20, and Sunday, July 21. Programming will include information about field trips (both docent-led and self-guided tour options), pre- and post-visit curricula and Artist Residency Programs. The preview days will also feature a performance by the Kawambe-Omowale African Drum and Dance Theatre, one of the 2013‒2014 Artists in Residence; light refreshments; the opportunity to tour MIM’s galleries; and a preview of MIM’s two new school-tour options. To register, visit zoomerang.com. Seating for the Teachers’ Preview Days is limited, so register early. Free for Arizona K‒12 educators, administrators, principals, registered student teachers and homeschool educators.

RUNA: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 25

This vocal and instrumental ensemble draws on the diverse musical backgrounds of its members and offers a refreshing approach to traditional and contemporary Celtic music. Tickets: $18.50-$24.50

Save the Date: The Recycled Orchestra Visits MIM: Thursday, August 8 – Saturday, August 10

Members of the Recycled Orchestra, a remarkable youth group from Paraguay that plays instruments made from trash, will visit MIM in August. MIM currently features eight of the group’s unique instruments in an exhibit in the Latin America gallery. While at MIM, the group will perform in two concerts in MIM Music Theater and participate in workshops with local students. The final schedule for the orchestra’s visit will be available in the coming weeks.

Click here to purchase tickets or for more information.


MIM’s Recycled Orchestra Exhibit Highlights How Music Can Generate Hope

If you haven’t visited North Phoenix recently, this exhibit at the MIM may bring you to do so.  The Musical Instrument Museum has opened a Recycled Orchestra exhibit in its Latin America Gallery. Inspired by a remarkable youth group from Paraguay, the exhibit features eight of the ensemble’s innovative instruments made from trash, along with video and photography shot in their hometown.

The instruments in MIM’s Recycled Orchestra exhibit come from a shantytown built on a landfill in Cateura, Paraguay, where families survive by collecting and reselling garbage. In this small town on the outskirts of the country’s capital Asunción, a violin can cost more than a house. There, visionary music teacher Favio Chávez gathered a team to search the landfill for usable materials and create instruments from recycled trash. In just a few years, their program has led to a thriving music school and a youth orchestra that performs internationally. That orchestra is the subject of a documentary, Landfill Harmonic, which is currently in production and is slated to be released in 2014. The film team includes Alejandra Amarilla Nash (founder and executive producer), Rodolfo Madero (executive producer), Juliana Peñaranda-Loftus (producer) and Emmy-nominated director Graham Townsley.

Made with items such as metal oil barrels, tin paint cans, old x-ray films, coins, bottle caps, spoons and plastic buttons, these instruments prove that poverty doesn’t preclude a life rich with music. The recycled instruments on display at MIM include:

A viola made from a tin paint container, recycled wood and a fork as a tailpiece
A violin whose body was cut from a metal commercial glue canister covered with Portuguese writing and symbols warning of toxic fumes
A flute made from a tin water pipe, lock pieces and a spoon handle
A rotary valve trumpet made from recycled metals, including worthless coins serving as valve caps
A soprano saxophone made from a tin water pipe, metal bottle caps, plastic buttons, a metal spoon and fork handles
A drum with chest x-ray films as drumheads, instead of animal skins
A cello made from a PetroBras automotive oil container from Brazil, with used strings held in place by a spatula
A double bass made from a metal calcium carbide container and bolts, with a fingerboard and scroll salvaged from a bass smashed in a car wreck.

Dr. Daniel Piper, MIM’s curator for Latin America and the Caribbean, has been working with the film team for more than a year and sees strong parallels between the Recycled Orchestra and other stories of hope and resilience told in MIM’s galleries. “Their story represents the intrinsic need by people around the world to make music,” said Piper. “For thousands of years, this need has driven musical innovation and creativity, leading to the incredible variety of instruments.”

The Recycled Orchestra will be performing at the MIM Friday, August 9 and Saturday, August 10. Click here for more details or to purchase tickets.

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