Vienna Vegetable Orchestra
The 11 musicians in the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra play instruments made from fresh produce bought at farmers’ markets: carrot flutes, pumpkin basses, leek violins, “cucumberophones,” eggplant “claps” and a radish marimba. (“Supermarkets’ plastic packed veggies are no good instruments!” declares the interesting “Questions and Answers” section of the orchestra’s site.) Founded in 1998, VVO—consisting of musicians, visual artists, architects, designers, media artists, writers and sound poets—plays some 30 concerts per year at events like the Singapore Arts Festival and the Berliner Surreale Festival, and shows conclude with an encore of fresh vegetable soup for the audience. The site includes some intriguing sound clips from VVO, whose sound is influenced by John Cage and John Zorn, and UK electronic artist Aphex Twin. VVO’s second album, automate, includes covers of Kraftwerk songs. “Letscho 74,” from their first CD, gemise, sounds like a bass clarinet freaking out in a dentist’s office. Be sure to watch the six-minute video in which the musicians shop for the perfect vegetables, carve and drill them into instruments and then perform on them.