Symphony for a Broken Orchestra

Found Sound Nation, in collaboration with Symphony for a Broken Orchestra, meticulously recorded the sounds of over 800 broken instruments from the Philadelphia public school district, in an effort to inspire the public to ‘adopt’ these instruments and fund their restoration for use by students throughout the city. They recorded talented musicians from around Philadelphia who improvised on rusted horns, splintered double bases, padless saxophones, and busted-up snare drums. They realized they had created a unique sound bank, and so invited musicians around the world to compose pieces that creatively reimagined these Broken Orchestra samples; the only criterion was to only use the sample pack as the raw material for the creation and “embrace the brokenness.” With over 120 submissions from around the world, featuring innovative production by artists from Khazakstan to Indonesia, they curated not only the ‘winners’ of the competition but also some of their favorite picks, alongside a selection of commissioned tracks by acclaimed producers and musicians.

Consider adopting a broken instrument here.  (Pssst: be sure to try the composition typewriter!)

Learn more about Found Sound Nation here.

Date: 14 May 2019


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