In Philadelphia, a project to reanimate over 1,000 broken instruments owned by the school district is reaching its latter stages.
The project is the brainchild of Robert Blackson, Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs at Temple University who, on learning of the instruments, decided to mount a creative project in partnership with a number of local organisations. The first part of the programme was an exhibition of the instruments at Temple University back in 2016. After this an attempt was made to play each instrument, the sound—no matter how basic—being recorded. These samples were sent to composer David Lang, who used them as a reference when composing a new work, which will premiere in October. This performance will involve a mixture of volunteer and professional musicians playing the broken instruments.
Best of all, the programme has raised enough money to make repairs. This will happen after the premiere, most of the instruments finding their way back into the hands of young players.
You can read more about the project, here.