Gabriel Prokofiev’s Import/Export Combines Trash and Music to Raise Awareness

An oil drum, like the ones picutred, is just one of the salvaged materials that Prokofiev turned into a musical instrument.

London-based composer and producer Gabriel Prokofiev is making music out of packaging materials that would normally head straight to the landfill.

Prokofiev composed Import/Export (Suite for Global Junk) for percussionist Joby Burgess’s group PowerPlant. PowerPlant performs the music in this multimedia piece on instruments they’ve constructed from trash. Items like glass bottles, plastic bags, oil drums and wooden pallets provide the live soundtrack, while video in the background documents these materials’ lives on this planet.

Check out this compilation of clips from their winter 2008 UK tour:


PowerPlant performs the entire piece without using any conventional instruments. I think the industrial sound from the instruments goes really well with the harsh tone of the videos behind him.

Import/Export is being released on CD and DVD on May 25th in the US, and Prokofiev and Burgess have a short US tour coming up in July. To read a bit more about the project, you can check out this interview with Prokofiev.

[Photo: Michael Foley Photography under a Creative Commons license]

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