Having previously been a music teacher, Favio decided to share his love of music with the children, and began teaching music lessons using the handful of personal instruments he owned. He soon realised there wasn’t enough instruments for all the eager students, so he started experimenting with making instruments using scraps of dirty oilcans, jars, wood, forks and other junk in the Cateura landfill, the instruments began to take shape and become finely tuned musical instruments - violins, flutes, cellos, drums…all made from trash. From this ingenuity, the “Recycled Orchestra” was formed with the local children as its members learning and performing Bach, Mozart and Beethoven.
So far, Chavez has taught music skills to over 120 children, inspiring hope, confidence and an awakening of passions within the children and their families who are now beginning to believe in a future beyond the slums of the landfill. The youth orchestra, now 30 members strong, has performed throughout the world and is the subject of the upcoming documentary Landfill Harmonic. There are 50 youth currently participating in the music education program who aspire to soon join the orchestra.
View the trailer to Landfill Harmonic - to be shown this coming Sunday, 27th September, at Zurich Film Festival.