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Landfill Harmonic | The world sends us garbage… We send back music.


Nicolás Gómez was just an ordinary music teacher when he started working with poor children who lived and worked in Cateura, Paraguay. Most of the slums are situated close to if not directly in a giant landfill. As the garbage of the rich is dumped it is sifted through by a small army of people (including children). Gomez had an aha moment one day and decided he would try and create musical instruments out of the recycled trash. As he says in the video, the price of a violin is more than most of his students’s houses are worth. So he and a group of others started making their own instruments and giving to their students. They made cellos, drums, guitars and violins. The Bach cello concerto in the video is especially poignant.

Landfill Harmonic is a documentary film that shows the evolution of this idea into a complete orchestra called The Recycled Orchestra, who now play to packed houses. Many of the students have gone on to get scholarships where they are then trained in the real instruments.


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