Sunday 7 May 2017

second fiddle

After learning of the severe state of disrepair that the musical instruments of Philadelphia’s public schools were facing, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Robert Blackson turned the challenge and tragedy for aspiring musicians exacerbated by cuts to funding of the arts into a creative opportunity.
First all the broken instruments were gathered and the curtailed range of the sounds that they could still produce (violins with missing or no strings or hopelessly mangled brasses) were sampled and a concert was scored—a cacophonous, haunting preview can be heard at the link up top—and through proceeds and patronage, all the instruments were adopted and rehabilitated. The attention that the broken orchestra drew also made it possible to install an instrument repair workshop in each school so they can keep their programmes going in the future and students might learn an additional trade as well.