Junk becomes music: Artist makes instruments out of waste

Junk becomes music: Artist makes instruments out of waste

It rattles and sounds from a former vacancy in downtown Würzburg: the Mozart Festival’s pop-up store in Plattnerstrae, around the corner from Kiliansdom, is being played by a very special artist this week. Tobias Schirmer, actually a jazz drummer, makes percussion instruments out of thrown things.

pot lids, brake disc, saw blade

An object does not remain in its original function: it takes the mallet from the bell and the aluminum sheet becomes a viola string. “I myself would call it sound art, but also music. Now I’m a musician myself and I can’t expect everyone to see it that way,” says Shimmer of his art. Pot lids, brake discs, saw blades: They make different sounds depending on which instrument the musician plays on the drums. Metal on metal is very sharp – stone on felt is pleasantly dull.

cycling with music

This can be called upcycling in music. The sustainable principle of recycling waste products is becoming more and more popular: old bicycle tires are turned into waterproof backpacks, and surfboards are turned into earrings and necklaces. “For me, sustainable thinking and acting has always been an area in my personal life. Now I’m slowly realizing that it’s so important to me that I want to do more with it,” Schirmer says. “Perhaps it shows a pleasant way to deal with what already exists – without wasting resources.” Plastic, he says, “is a silly material compared to metal and wood—even from an artistic standpoint.”

sounds are made alive in the moment

Shimmer is accepting scrap donations in pop-up stores starting Monday. At a concert on Thursday evening, the sound artist demonstrates that cycling with musical instruments also works. But are there scores to their way of making music? “I let myself be guided by enthusiasm and the moment. I look: where can I go, what can I develop? It all happens live.”

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Concert Goers Are Thrilled

Experimental and spontaneous: Audiences like a different kind of concert. “I’m amazed at how diverse sounds can be made out of materials. We used to build instruments with kids out of garbage, cardboard boxes, cans, etc.” Marcus says for example, Id. And Charlotte Sanger is happy to finally hear live music again. “It was so exciting, to take myself away from the noise, to wonder where the sounds came from.”

room for mozart

The first is a one-of-a-kind pop-up store as part of the Mozart Festival: as with “M Pop-up – Room for Mozart”, a temporary room for Mozart was set up in an inner-city shop, the artist. The experiment and open access to rehearsals and concerts and rounds of discussion creates a space for encounter, discovery and exchange. The room was opened in late May on Mozart’s Day.

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