More about Lindsey Stirling.
More about the Landfill Harmonic.
They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. David and the whole house of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with songs and with harps, lyres, tambourines, sistrums and cymbals (2 Samuel 6: 3-5).
In April, my daughter, Carly, visited from Brooklyn, New York. She mentioned she’d like to go to the MIM.
The Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix is one of my favorite places in the world. I’ve been there at least five times since in opened in 2010. I’ve written other posts about The MIM.
Here are some of the sights we saw on our visit (click on the smaller pictures to enlarge and reveal captions):
The mariachi exhibit:
A tapa from Oceania, a textile made from the bark of the paper mulberry tree:
Grand piano made for Czar Nicholas I of Russia:
Pretty cool, huh?
What about you? Have you been to MIM, or to another musical instrument museum? (I know there’s another in Paris, and maybe elsewhere.) Share in the comments below.
Antonio Stradivari (1644—December 18, 1737) was an Italian luthier, a crafter of string instruments. He is considered the greatest artisan in this field. The Latinized form of his surname, Stradivarius, as well as the colloquial “Strad” are terms often used to refer to his instruments. Scholars estimate that Antonio produced 1,116 instruments, of which 960 were violins. It is estimated that around 650 of these instruments survive.
It is believed that Stradivari was a student of Nicola Amati, apprenticed from 1656–58, and produced his first decent instruments in 1660, at the age of 16. His first labels were printed from 1660 to 1665, indicating that his work had sufficient quality to be offered directly to his patrons. However, he stayed in Amati’s workshop until about 1684, using his master’s reputation as a launching point for his career.
In the early 1690s, Stradivari made a pronounced departure from his earlier style of instrument-making, changing two key elements of his instruments. First, he began to make violins with a larger pattern than previous instruments; these larger violins usually are known as “Long Strads”. He also switched to using a darker, richer varnish, as opposed to a yellower varnish similar to that used by Amati. He continued to use this pattern until 1698, with few exceptions. After 1698, he abandoned the Long Strad model and returned to a slightly shorter model, which he used until his death. The period from 1700 until the 1720s is often termed the “golden period” of his production. Instruments made during this time are usually considered of a higher quality than his earlier instruments.
Stradivari’s instruments are regarded as amongst the finest bowed stringed instruments ever created, are highly prized, and are still played by professionals today.
Click here to listen to videos of world-class performers, such as Anne-Sophie Mutter, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, and Yo Yo Ma, playing Stradivarius instruments.
The Vienna Philharmonic uses several Stradivari instruments that were purchased by the National Bank of Austria and other sponsors.
Information for this article came from Wikipedia.
You may have heard of the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, Paraguay. This YouTube video, posted in 2012, has been viewed almost seven million times:
Cateura is the site of a huge garbage dump. The 2500 families who live there make a living by scavenging the dump for materials they can sell.
All of their need come from discards. Even their homes are built from garbage.
Favio Chavez, an environmental engineer employed by the dump, observed thousands of children who lived their lives surrounded by garbage. And drugs.
Wanting to provide a ray of hope, Chavez volunteered to teach kids to play musical instruments. He started with a number of donated instruments, which quickly ran out.
Chavez justly gets credit for his vision. He must be an accomplished musician, but I was unable to find any information about his background. For sure, he is an excellent and inspiring teacher, as evidenced by the accomplishments of his students.
And the children! Their dedication to practice shows in the way their performances shine.
A documentary about the orchestra, called Landfill Harmonic, came out in 2016:
In my opinion, the unrecognized angel of the orchestra is Nicola Gomez. A carpenter by trade, “Don Cola” Gomez is who Chavez turned to when he needed more instruments for his students. Could he fashion some violins from materials from the landfill?
Gomez had never seen or heard a violin before. But somehow, he made one out of baking sheets, pallet wood, a fork, and old wires. And then he made some more. Soon, he branched out to other kinds of instruments. Trumpets made from drainage pipes. Drums with x-ray film heads.
Amazingly, despite the humble materials he used to build the instruments, they sound remarkably good. It’s not easy to hand-make instruments that will play in tune with other instruments. Especially without specialized training. The man is an acoustical genius.
60 Minutes produced this segment about the Recycled Orchestra:
I recently visited the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, and some of the Cateura instruments are on display there (click on the small pictures to enlarge and read captions):