Renowned classical music composer and conductor Luis Szaran from Paraguay made another brief visit to Swindon recently to update friends on his Sound of the Earth project in his homeland.
In between touring the world to conduct top orchestras, Luis runs Sonidos de la Tierra which provides musical education to disadvantaged children and young people.
The project relies on donations of instruments. In many households across Swindon there is probably a musical instrument stored in a cupboard or the loft, full of memories of learning to play at school, or perhaps a former hobby.
Speaking through an interpreter he said: “Sonidos de la Tierra is also about community life; we help young people gain a skill and build confidence through playing an instrument. Music is in our soul and we use it to bring people together.”
He added there is less need for stringed instruments because there are local workshops to make them. But, brass and wind instruments are wanted. Whatever condition they are in they can be repaired before being sent to places where orchestras are being formed.
Luis said: “You would be amazed what people living in the poorest situations, in slums or on dumps, can achieve, making and playing instruments made from recovered pipes and bottle tops.”
Commenting on his visit to Swindon, Luis said: “There are good and bad people in all parts of the world. Here I have only found wonderful people who understand what we are trying to achieve. We have been building a cultural bridge between Swindon and my country.”
John Holland collects the instruments to send to Paraguay. He said: “It’s amazing what Sonidos de la Tierra are doing to build communities.”
Contact John Holland on 07771 615663 to discuss donating instruments.