Want to make a trashy musical instrument?

February 2, 2021

Our recent blog post about Ken Butler’s Melodious Bones explained how he salvages waste to make musical instruments. Here’s how you can give it a try, too!

As long as there has been trash, there have been people compelled to save it from the landfill and give it one more chance at being useful. Entire TV shows, books, websites, and blogs revolve around this very topic. Whether it is repainting a piece of furniture, salvaging parts of an old house, or grabbing a perfectly fine but unwanted item discarded by a neighbor, reusing, repurposing, and reimagining are all worthy of consideration.

Ken Butler’s hybrid instruments inspire everyday people, as well as fellow artists, including the co-founders of Bash the Trash, John Bertles and Carina Piaggio. Bash the Trash, based in Hastings, New York, uses Butler’s concept of creating musical instruments from trash and adds to it the science of sound and the message of sustainability. Working in schools and teaching institutions, Bash the Trash teaches kids and adults how to create musical instruments from trash, the science behind how these musical instruments make melodious sounds, and how to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

“The three S’s — science, sound, and sustainability — are at the center of the Bash the Trash message,” comments Bertles. “We love how art and science work together in what we do.”

For more information about Bash the Trash, including their programs, live-streaming events, and online classes, visit their website.

For free online tutorials on how to create your own trashy musical instruments, go to the Bash the Trash YouTube channel and search for “Instrument Making Instructional Videos.” While you are there, browse their other educational videos for entertainment and inspiration.

Photo Credit: PeopleImages | E+ | Getty Images