Archive for Orchestra

The Brilliant Bradlee

What if the history of music we know is wrong? What if all of the hits we knew and loved growing up sounded just slightly different? This is the alternative history of pop music that Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox plays.

When Scott Bradlee was young he was thoroughly inspired when he listened to Gerswin’s Rhapsody in Blue. He taught himself how it to play this on the piano, however, he was unsatisfied stopping there. He quickly picked up the steps of 1920’s ragtime music; fast, reckless, and fantastically loud. It captivated him. His comprehension of what made pop music from all ages truly great enabled him to slur together various styles of music, yet, he was still able to contain the core meaning of each song he recomposed. This is the brilliance of the man.

What can an artist do to make a name for himself? Bradlee made the traditional move aspiring artists make. He moved to New York City. Sadly for Bradlee, Jazz pianists, which he was marketing himself as at the time, were everywhere in the Big Apple. Refusing to break from his dream Bradlee made the sensible move and went to Astoria, a far less populated area with cheaper rent. While he was there he started making videos for YouTube. His first hit was a hit was a ragtime themed medley of 1980’s pop music that scored over a million views, and thus began his true career.

With the assembling of Post Modern Jukebox Bradlee finally had a crew of all shapes and kinds to help him achieve that truly spectacular sound he had always dreamed of. Since their forming, they have taken hits from the 1970’s to this very day and rewritten them in the full spirit of Postmodernism. At this moment Scott Bradlee has a following of 844,00 subscribers and approaching 150,000,000 views on his YouTube videos. Starting this year they are scheduled to tour North America and Europe. Thankfully, for those completely hooked on his videos, he shall still be making them while on tour.

Postmodern Jukebox


From Trash to Musical Treasure: The Inspiring Landfill Harmonic



How it began: Several years ago, Favio Chávez was working at a massive landfill south of Asunción, Paraguay. He became  friends with the families who live among the trash and work as recyclers.  Chávez then figured out how to make musical instruments using the scraps of dirty oil cans, jars, wood, forks and other junk in the Cateura Landfill. He also created an orchestra with local kids as the members.

Chávez  is a musician with experience forming classical ensembles. He initially put  a few instruments together for the children who had nothing to play with. He was not planning on creating a brass and string section from scratch. After hearing the good sound that the instruments produced,however, he decided to perfect them. Using the help of a resident garbage picker named “Cola,”  Chávez constructed smooth sounding, built-to-scale cellos and violins, an astonishing feat considering that he used only basic carpentry skills and scraps from the landfill.

Landfill Orchestra Chávez’s orchestra now has 30 members and although is has been a big commitment for the children and their families, they have received worldwide recognition. They’ve performed several places such as Argentina, Brazil, and Germany. A U.S based film maker even made a documentary about them and their inspiring story.

The children and  Chávez  say that ultimately the goal of the music project is to educate the public about a world problem that they feel shouldn’t be ignored. Were it not for Chávez and the Landfill Harmonic, these children would never get a chance to learn how to play an instrument or be a part of an orchestra. To many of these children, music is a form of hope and a true joy. It is the best part of their lives.

“I made this orchestra to educate the world and raise awareness,“ says Chávez. “But it’s also a social message to let people know that even though these students are in extreme poverty, they can also contribute to society.  They deserve an opportunity.” 

Read more:

This is an amazing video about the Landfill Harmonic. Please, check it out!