A week or so ago, I saw a young father drumming on a garbage can at the Ferry Building farmer’s market in San Francisco. Remarkably, he coaxed an impressive sonority from his makeshift instrument and a respectable range in pitches. The little metal hat over the top, meant to prevent us from donating oversize items to the city, the legs that prop it up, the can itself–each contained a multitude of voices, and they talked together like a happy party under his rapid hands.
Nathaniel Stookey has taken garbage music a step further, using not the containers, but the contents, and creating “Junkestra”–a three-movement piece on what Stookey describes as “a remarkably sonorous collection of pipes, pans, mixing bowls, bottles, serving trays, deck railings, dresser drawers, oil drums, bike wheels, saws, garbage cans, bathroom fixtures, bird-cages, and shopping carts.“
The music is posted in Stookey’s artist statement on Norcal’s Artist-in-Residence Program website.