Spotlights & Histories Of “Unusual” Musical Instruments – The Vegetable Orchestra

Today’s spotlight is a rather light-hearted one – The Vegetable Orchestra based in Vienna. Yes, you read that correctly… a vegetable orchestra. This  one-of-a-kind orchestra is comprised of musicians playing all fresh vegetables!

The Vegetable Orchestra

The Vegetable Orchestra was founded in 1998 in Vienna, Austria and currently consists of eleven musicians, one videographer, and one sound technician. Interestingly enough, not all of the members were originally musicians. Some of them are poets, sculptors, designers, and architects! These differences in artistic backgrounds are what has made the group so successful at pioneering such a unique concept.

“What kind of music can you possibly play with vegetables?” you might ask. The answer is quite surprising! While they do play original compositions, they also play anything from classical to jazz to electronic music to dub to contemporary. This group leaves no stone unturned.

“How can one play a vegetable as a musical instrument?” Believe me, we wondered the same thing. One hour prior to a performance, the instruments are made from scratch using all fresh vegetables. Holes are drilled, vegetables are hollowed, cuts are made, different vegetables are stuck together… the list goes on. All of these instruments are the original inventions of the orchestra members – carrot recorders, zucchini trumpets, pumpkin drums, celery guitars, eggplant claps, carrot marimbas, radish bass flutes, cucumberphones, leek violins, and many more. All of the vegetable instruments are then amplified using special microphones. While the vegetables may only last for one concert or for one day in the studio, nothing goes to waste! At the end of a performance, all of the vegetables and vegetable remains are used to make soup, which is then served to the audience members.

The Vegetable Orchestra

If you’re looking for more from The Vegetable Orchestra, you can click here for sound clips from their albums (they have three). The website also has more information on the orchestra if you would like to read more.

This group of musicians is really a perfect example of how music can be created from anything. If you open your mind and take a look around, the possibilities are limitless.

Have you ever created a musical instrument out of something that wouldn’t normally  be considered an instrument? We’d love to hear about it! Share about it in the comments below!

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