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Fight tyranny! Resist oppression! Join Trash Orchestra!
by Santa Cruz Trash Orchestra (trash [at]
Monday May 7th, 2007 3:43 PM
If you are full of rebellious insolence and music in your heart, we need you.
Fight tyranny!  Resist oppression! See the world! Join...
santa cruz trash orchestra
We are a marching percussion band – a bone-shaking
recycled orchestra – a superhero sonic force of
resistance to be reckoned with

We make percussion on tuned cans, hubcaps and barrels,  drums, pieces of sheet metal, and homemade oddities.

If you are full of rebellious insolence and music in your heart, we need you. Bring your courage, your passion, your righteous anger, your instruments, recycled or otherwise.

We are looking for a few more players, with both rhythm and fiery resistance in their hearts.  We have weekly practices and independently work on improving our skills and repertoire.  We see everyone in the band becoming virtuosos of their own handmade musical creations.  We appear invited and uninvited at protests and celebrations, furors and frackuses, we long for invites to make noise and celebration in places across the globe.  We are ambitious in our plans to conquer the world and make it a better place full of music and dancing and resistance.  Wanna join us? 

Practice every Sunday 3-6pm - Contact for location                    831.335.3109

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by Santa Cruz Trash Orchestra
Monday May 7th, 2007 3:46 PM
Check out Trash Orchestra Flickr photo sets:

Trash Orchestra at Last Night Parade, New Year's Eve 2006

At a City Hall protest against police spying

Playing Downtown

Playing trash down at the clocktower for a Sentinel photo-op

Obligatory idiosyncratic band photo

At Last Rights Parade, a symbolic funeral for the right to free
speech and assembly after the city's failure to restrict police spying


Building the Trash Orchestra

Tuning the beat-up roofing tar bucket instrument

Welding the Scrap A-Go-Gos

Last Night DIY New Year's Parade 2006

Canstrument in action

Trash Orchestra Color Guard

Trash Orchestra at Last Night DIY Santa Cruz Parade 2006

Audience participation at Last Night

Warming Up Before the Parade

by Santa Cruz Trash Orchestra
Monday May 7th, 2007 3:49 PM

Trash Orchestra Homemade Instruments

The instruments we use varies from performance to performance, depending on who is playing, what stuff we've recently come across, and pure whim of the band.

Instruments currently being used in some performances are:


The Big Blue Barrel
- one of those industrial plastic barrels that makes a big bass sound.  (Since it doesn't have a drum skin, musically this acts more like a bell than a drum)


The Canstrument - an array of tuned industrial food cans whose sound is something between a zylophone and a steel drum

Recycle Bin
- a rectangular recycling bin (a green one from Morgan Hill) used like a rather versatile tom tom.

- A wearable, playable brassiere of stainless steel bowls, with light-up nipples

The Beat-up Bucket - a much abused steel roofing tar bucket that makes a surprising variety of great sounds

Steel Drum - Not calypso-style, just like what it sounds like -- a drum made of steel for a loud high clack-a-tack-tack sound


Pots & Pans - Various resonant thrift-store finds

- Made from left over metal pipes on a styrofoam bed 

 Wrench-o-phone - A xylophone-type instrument made from rusty wrenches found at the wrecking yard

  • The ThunderSheet - a sheet of galvanized tin.  The sound is sometimes crashing cymbals, sometimes rolling thunder

  • Scrap a-go-go - like a conventional a-go-go (which is sorta like a pair of cow bells) but welded from an old washer top

  • Washing Machine - an old stripped-down washing machine, mounted with wheels to accompany a marching band.  Provides an amazing diversity of sounds.

  • The Battered Propane Tank - An empty propane tank that is played while sitting on it

  • Water-filled Steel Thermos - Makes a changing tone as you strike it and move it around

  • Hub Cap - Makes a high sound like a cymbal or has holes for a crrrrrrck! sound


  • Additional Canstruments - enough of these and we have our own grungy gamelan

  • Something like a snare - What is a marching percussion band without a snare, without a half dozen snares!  What can we use?  What would get that ratatatatatatatat sound?

We have periodic build days.  Join us to create your own trash instrument with us.  Want to be part of the Trash Orchestra, but don't have an instrument?  Or are you tired of whacking away at the same old trash?  Come join us for a Build Day!
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!


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