New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Reverence for Garbage

August 06, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Economy, Robert C. Koehler

Let’s Discard Exploitation and Make Music Instead

by Robert C. Koehler

“My life would be worthless without music,” the girl said.

And the music came, up from the garbage, through her hands and heart and out to the world. My god, she was playing a violin made out of an old can. A boy was playing a cello crafted with more love and ingenuity than I can imagine, from a used oil drum, old wool and tossed-out beef-tenderizing tools.

The brief YouTube video, precursor to a documentary film to be released in January, is called Landfill Harmonic (Preview); it’s about a children’s orchestra in a Paraguayan village — a slum — called Cateura, which is built on a landfill. Reclaiming and reselling the trash that arrives every day is the residents’ means of survival. Real violins are not to be found in such a place; they’re worth more than a family’s home. (more…)