June 13, 2008Posted in: General
As reported in May 2008 issue of Ode Magazine:
The bright melodies, crunchy beats, and spastic squeals sound like they’re pumping from a dark, subterranean nightclub packaged with sweaty dancers. But actually, it’s the sound of vegetables. Since 1998, the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra’s 11 musicians have been scouring outdoor markets for the freshest produce to drill, cut, peel, and scrape into colorful instruments.
Carrots are hollowed out and made into recorders that sound strikingly similar to the plastic kind; onions are pulled apart and skins rubbed together to make a subtle crunch; big pumpkins become bongos. There’s even a cucumberophone made from what appears to be a bell pepper, a carrot and (of course) a cucumber stuck together. Inspired by the belief that music lives in everything, and infused with the idea of vegetables as a tasty, fragrant, and vibrant medium for sound, the orchestra records tunes and even tours, cooking up a batch of veggie soup for audiences after every show.
Orchestra co-founder Ernst Reitermaier describes performing with the group as “being part of a bigger instrument. I like it that the audience is amazed by what we do.” And though its second album, Automate, was inspired by electronica, he insists the band is equally influenced by classical and other genres and prefers to define its sound simply as “vegetable style.” Parents beware: The Vienna Vegetable Orchestra makes it cool to play with your food.
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