Friday, October 25, 2013




“We all need to play the music that we hear inside. To do that, some of us have greater mountains to

climb than others. For the Landfill Harmonic, it’s a mountain of trash.” 

Landfill Armonic - Orquesta Reciclaje via NPR

Having known from a very, very young age, that music would be a part of my life, I am always gleeful when I run across things like this. I think that without music, as Beethoven would say, "life would be a mistake." I've tried to act upon this in every way possible, I mean, look at me, I ended up a viola player. The butt of jokes in symphony orchestras the world over.

A funny thing happened during this journey, apart from the getting sick, homeless, having a complete bastard of an ex-husband, Bill Nunnally (you really didn't think you were going to skip mention in this post did ya, ya tar-hearted meany-pants philanderer and liar extraordinaire? You're in for the long haul and you know you deserve it, Lithia, but enough about you. This took a whole 2 seconds of typing.)

The music never died. It just won't quit. In case I think it's gone, I have these friends? Angels? People who have come to know me, yet have never clapped eyes on me and yet understand that ours is a shared passion. The passion to make music. To that end, we have the Recycled Philharmonic. How awesome is this? After all, before Pablo Casals learned to play cello on his gourd that his dad crafted for him in Puerto Rico, when little Pablo was, like 3 years old, way back in antiquity, people were beating on hollow logs with sticks and then jamming said sticks into hollow gourds.

This was actually in the Weekly World News. Y'know the rag that used to feature Bat Boy, so there may be some veracity issues. . .

A Short History of Music, You Won't Find in Any Book:

Oog, or Ogg got the bright idea of tying a few pieces of yak hair to the top of the stick and affixing it to the bottom of the gourd. Voilá! He had him the first proto-type plucked instrument. A bent stick with eohippus tail hair became a bow and pretty soon, the whole cave was stringing away.

I am not sure how long it took Oog and Ogg and crew to discover that by shortening the string length of their now-bowed instruments would change pitch, but I'm guessing it didn't take long. As far as organized groups of like sounds and all that, I didn't take music anthropology in college, I was too busy studying the viola and playing things like Bach's "Unaccompanied Cello Suites" transcribed for viola. The piece Bebi is playing "Unaccompanied Suite #1 in G Major, Prelude" is the first juried piece I played in university. It is absolutely thrilling to hear it played again and so well. His interpretation is well-nigh flawless. 

Music and the arts are the things that differentiate us from the animals; although, I wonder sometimes. We have cats and elephants painting and I believe I saw dogs doing interpretive dance, although I would argue against that as an art form. It's more like the Emperor's New Clothes school of Arts, like the Concerto for Vacuum Cleaner and Symphony Orchestra I once was forced to sit through as a student, because our music professors were working out their hostility issues, or something.

Anyway, this is a love letter to all of those musical people; the musicians with notes in their hearts and beats in their souls, and it's not from me. I'm just a conduit. I was inspired by something ancient and something from so long ago it is an atavistic feeling, but most shared things such as this usually are. Thank Colin Falconer for this lovely find. I must go now; I have a viola that is yearning for some Bach, Sibelius, but absolutely no Mozart!

You can find the Landfill Philharmonic on Facebook:

There is also a Kickstarter for funding here:
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