For a project known as Scrapheap Orchestra, some top instrument makers in the UK transformed junk, including pieces of broken furniture, into 44 instruments for members of the BBC Concert Orchestra to play.
The quest to build an orchestra of instruments out of rubbish is more than just a musical spectacle - in the construction of these instruments we delve into the history of instrument making and the science of music, why different instruments are made the way they are, why some designs haven’t changed for hundreds of years and why, when played together, the sound of an orchestra is unlike anything else on earth. (via BBC Four)
Next week, BBC Four will broadcast a 90-minute documentary that follows the project, which features the orchestra performing Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture on the scrap instruments at the 2011 BBC Proms. (Click here for broadcast info.)
For project photos, see Gramophone’s gallery, source of the above photo of orchestra members with instruments and conductor Charles Hazlewood. (Photo credit: BBC/Chris Christodoulou)
On a similar (instruments-made-from-junk) note, check out the Unconsumption posts on San Francisco’s Junkestra and New York Philharmonic’s percussion-from-junk exploration.