orchestra

Conducting an Orchestra in Herald Square

Here’s one more for the weekend—it’s definitely a feel-good Friday video!

Improv Everywhere, an NYC group known for staging attention-getting stunts, recently set up Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble ACJW orchestra in the middle of Herald Square and invited people to conduct them. Locals and tourists stepped up with their best conductor imitations—which are both hilarious and heart-warming to watch.

Kudos to the awesome young musicians who sounded great while following the haphazard conducting!

Also, if you’ve ever wondered what, exactly, a conductor does, check out Justin Davidson’s fantastic (and aptly named) NYMag piece, “What Does a Conductor Do?”В Davidson breaks down the nuances of conducting in an incredibly engaging and entertaining way; it’s actually one of my favorite long reads from the past few years.

On that note (ha!) have a fabulous weekend.

Landfillharmonic

I don’t know too much about Paraguay, beyond the fact that I want to visit it. The country is less of a mainstream tourist destination than its neighbors, Brazil and Argentina—which makes it all the more appealing to me. And after learning about the “Los Reciclados” orchestra,” I want to go there even more.

Just outside of Asuncion, Paraguay’s capital, is Cateura, a slum built upon a garbage dump. To give its young residents a hopeful alternative to the poverty and strife around them, local music teacher Favio Chavez started a youth orchestra—where every instrument is handmade from trash from the landfill.

Cellos are crafted from oil drums, flutes from water pipes. But what’s most astounding is how good these instruments sound. Check out the video below to see how Chavez and “Cola,” a trash picker, create the instruments, and hear the kids play—it’s truly amazing!

(Landfillharmonic, a documentary about the orchestra, is scheduled to be released next year)