Landfill harmonic makes something from nothing

6:00 PM, Aug 27, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Every instrument is constructed from scraps pulled from a garbage dump and played by youngsters who have almost nothing.

Thanks to a D.C. woman they have a little something.

The teens and the teacher have taken trash and made music. It's just a miracle.

Fresh from Paraguay, the teens offered their first performance of the day at the Inter-American Development Bank headquarters to repeated standing ovations. The young musicians from Landfill Harmonic live in a slum built on a dump in a part of the Paraguayan capitol that's not even on the map.

A craftsman they call Don Cola for Coca Cola picks what he can find and hammers it into musical instruments.

"The instrument is made of of gutter canals that you have in regular houses. Out of gutters? Aluminum gutters? Aluminum gutters." They say the world sends them garbage and they send back music.

The owner of DC's Middle C Music heard the pleas of a Paraguayan musician and decided the youngsters of the Cateura slum deserved something more and brought them 23 boxes of instruments.

"Trumpets clarinets. Also flutes, clarinets, alto sax, double bass, a drum set," she said. "Who know what can happen... Opening doors, that's what we're about. Opening doors."

There's no stopping them now.

The Landfill Harmonic orchestra has gotten a lot of publicity in Paraguay opening doors not just for the teens but for the whole community.

Myrna Sislen from Middle C Musice is hoping the government can no longer ignore the desperate poverty in Catuera and does something to improve conditions in these kids hometown.

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