“The world sends up rubbish, we send it back music”.
Tunes from the Trash is an inspiring and informative piece of journalism that is great for the soul and ears.
In it, we hear from an orchestra in Paraguay, a country with immense extremes in wealth that leave huge populations living in shanty towns built around rubbish tips, next to polluted rivers.
Thanks to the leadership and guidance of their musical director Favio Chavez, a group of young people are given huge opportunities to develop not only their passion for music, but to see the world and reinvest the spoils of their success back in to their communities.
His ethos to avoid removing people from their homes and surrounding poverty, but to return to these places in the pursuit of improving them is such a wonderful and conviction filled pledge that can only be admired.
There are many choice quotes from the programme, and it covers so many important issues around waste, recycling, the divide between the haves and have-nots.
How lucky are these people to have a figure like Favio in their life? And how would the stories of the youngsters (and families) he has helped read without him?
This is what one young lady had to say: “I’m eleven years old, I started playing instruments when I was six years old. With the orchestra I have visited many countries, I never thought I’d travel. Music has changed my life a lot. If I had not been studying music I would be on the street”
A parent of a child in the orchestra continues by saying words that are so powerful they deserve repeating in full:
“Everything has a value, metal, plastics, copper wiring, all this material that society throws out” ….
“Communities like Cateura are a reflection of the shortcomings of society: consumerism, materialism, individualism, and capitalism where money is the only thing that matters. In this world the richest person can have more money than the ten poorest countries on earth. How did we get to this point, to this inequality? It results in a lack of opportunities a lack possibilities to get ahead. We reclaim the garbage that comes from consumerism, we want to rescue not only the people but also the waste of society. You can not throw people away like things. I firmly believe that through the orchestra and music we can vindicate the people society has discarded.”
The programme was broadcasted on Radio 4 and having heard the ensuing “Feedback” feature it would seem that like us, many people were moved and inspired by Wyre Davies’ reporting in Paraguay.
In fact, the only thing missing from the report, is the ability to see these incredible instruments so it’s worth looking up one of the many videos online to catch a glimpse of them. This one from The Guardian is 90 seconds well spent.