As a drummer, I am fascinated with all sorts of sounds. Remember, when you don’t know how to categorize an instrument, you put it in the percussion section. For example, a whistle: percussion. A cueca: percussion. A squeaky wheel: percussion. As percussionist we have the most crowded department of them all. We take everything, from the noise a boot makes on cracking ice to the sound of a kiss. We even welcome the unthinkable, the garbage. As you can see, we take the world as a whole.
I know I already did a blog about the show Stomp, a mesmerizing performance performed on instruments found in landfills. I might talk about it again some other time, but today I wanted to write about movies.
Have you ever seen a movie lately? Yes? Oh, good.
They are using more and more garbage in the soundtrack. And I mean that literally. You hear those epic scores, with a million trumpets and French horns charging ahead, the strings pulsating in a furious crescendo, but, leading the pack, you’ve got those drums, loud, strong, unstoppable. That’s where the garbage is. Sure, you might have some timpanis and snares, some rattles of sorts, bass drums galore, but you also get noises that do not belong to a symphony orchestra: the smashed trash can lid, the PVC pipes banged on an oil barrel, the glass shattered with a hammer. It booms in the sound track, it gets our heart going. It could move a mountain.
This is so popular that even the companies that offer samples for the sound engineers are including many of them in their programs. Native Instrument, for example, a huge german company that specializes in sounds of all sorts, named one of their program exactly that: Garbage. It contains all the cling and clang you need to propel your music to the stratosphere. And these are not artificial bangs either. They filled up a rooms with trash and microphones. Then they recorded the precious sounds. Wish I was there.
I use a lot of samples when I make some play along songs, simply because I do not play any string or wind instruments. My specialty are the drums and the piano. But I am extending my catalog as I am discovering the world of trash. I am knee deep into waste sometimes. Will I admit that I love it? Yes, I do. And, you do too, let’s be honest. What would be “The Incredibles” or “Deadpool 2” without trash?