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Inventors create beautiful music with wacky, self-made instruments

SEATTLE - What happens when a world renowned artist collaborates with some of Seattle's most vulnerable residents? The unique team of inventors unveiled their creation in a special performance at Benaroya Hall Wednesday night.


The artistic team started with blank notebooks and open minds, eight weeks ago. Artist Trimpin was leading the way. When their first building day began four weeks into the process, he joyfully pushed the 12 students to be creative.

"Oh it's total chaos and everybody likes it, because it's nothing structured and everybody contributes somehow in their own way," Trimpin said.

Each student brought in everyday items that could be considered musical, while other items were donated. Mary Moody pulled the strings from an old instrument so they could be used to hang chimes. "Kinda hate destroying this beautiful piece of wood," she said. "It's gorgeous isn't it? Isn't it pretty? But anyway, everything has more than one use."

Trimpin is completing a three-year residency with the Seattle Symphony. They joined forces with Path With Art, which serves adults rebuilding their lives out of addiction and homelessnes.

"We are fortunate to be working with one of the world's most creative geniuses," Moody said.

Student Angel Smith is reading poetry during the performance. "It's helpful boosting your self esteem," she said. "From where I came from the streets as an addict, to now I'm in the community and expressing myself in a positive way."

Studen Michael Dare said one of the hardest parts of being homeless is having nothing to do. Art gives him a creative outlet. "I never would have dreamed of performing or doing something in Benaroya hall. That's crazy. That's out of my reach. But now I'm doing it!" he said.

Eight weeks since they first brainstormed their creation, the class is ready to show it off in the home of the Seattle Symphony.

The Symphony donates time and space for the project. CEO Simon Woods said it's part of they're obligation as one of the largest art institutes in the state.

"Connecting creativity and art with people who don't normally have access to those experiences, we just love to work with them," Wodds said. "And we love being part of that process of enlivening and making our community a healthy place."

The result is an extraordinary cacophony of colors and sounds. "We have taken life, sometimes the ugly things of life and turned it into something beautiful," Moody said.

The instrument will be on display at the Columbia City Art Gallery through the holidays.
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