May 7, 2014 8:30 pm

‘Recycled Orchestra’ brings spellbinding sound to Saskatchewan

Watch above: their instruments might be made from recycled material, but their sound is spellbinding

ROSTHERN, Sask. – The Landfill Harmonic has been garnering attention from around the globe thanks to their unusually crafted instruments and spectacular sound.

They were handpicked as the opening act for Metallica on their South American concert tour.

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Every violin, bass and saxophone has been artfully assembled using materials such as bottle caps, oil cans and buttons. Each item is found at a landfill in Cateura, Paraguay.

According to Canadian charity Global Family Foundation, more than 2,500 families live in the direct vicinity of the landfill.

Many rummage through piles of garbage for recyclable goods or items still in passable condition to sell.

“I love the idea that broken things can be made beautiful – right from friendships, relationships to a pop can and everything in between,” said Ryan Wood, Rosthern Junior College vice-principal.

The choral school in Rosthern, Sask. welcomed the group for a special concert in Saskatchewan on Tuesday. It is part of a cross-Canada tour to raise awareness about poverty and funds for a Community Education Centre in Cateura, home of the widely dubbed ‘Recycled Orchestra.’

The excitement among students from Rosthern, Waldheim, Osler, Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation and Saskatoon was palpable.

Orchestra director Favio Chavez told Global News him considers himself more of a social worker than an artist, elevating young people from impoverished conditions to a position where they have opportunities to thrive and succeed.

Cateura is often regarded as one of the poorest slums in South America.

“The situation in Paraguay is very difficult,” said Chavez.

For 17-year-old bass player Brandon Cobone, the experience is invaluable.

“It’s the only thing that keeps me alive in this world. It connects me with culture and the world,” he said holding the instrument proudly.

Students at Rosthern Junior College presented the group with a cheque for more than $1,300. The funds were raised through a special campaign they launched.

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