Sound Garden opened weekend as part of FESTA on Saturday, 26 October 2015 on the corner Colombo and Gloucester Streets, with support from Random Acts of Music.

Gap Filler, Greening the Rubble and local creatives Gaby Montejo, Jason Ware, Tim McGurk and Trent Hiles created a variety of musical instruments from recovered and re-appropriated materials. These were been installed in garden setting for the public’s playing pleasure, ready and waiting to be discovered – to be struck, strummed, and swivelled.

Inspired by a Gap Filler supporter and volunteer who sent in a video clip of Brazilian street musicians installing musical instruments on lamp posts and road signs for serendipitous discovery by pedestrians, this project offered locals and visitors to Ōtautahi-Christchurch a way to make some sweet sounds in contrast to the demolition/construction noise scape.

“The emphasis of the project is on play and having fun, and on experimentation”, says Trent Hiles, Gap Filler project coordinator. “Even during the installation day we had people wander in and try things out. Children especially just launch into having a go and often interact in a way that we hadn’t considered – just because it is a massive drum it doesn’t mean you should only hit it with your hands, the whole body works as well!”

Greening the Rubble and Gap Filler’s Sound Garden project has re-opened after a three-month hiatus. The garden, which features plantings, seating and musical instruments made from recycled materials and junk, was previously located on the corner of Gloucester and Colombo Streets.

The location for this fun, interactive project is opposite the Peterborough Street Library on the former Convention Centre site.

The Sound Garden has been designed by Jonathan Hall from Greening the Rubble and Gap Filler’s contribution – the large instruments – entails drums made from concrete pipes, gongs made from old fire extinguishers and a trampoline-cum-xylophone. These have been created by local artists Gaby Montejo, Tim McGurk, Jason Ware and Trent Hiles.

Sound is a big feature of this garden. Greening the Rubble’s Sites Coordinator, Jonathan Hall says of the project “for the second time around with Sound Garden, we wanted the sound to be more integrated with the garden, so the instruments are the main event and the planting is wrapped around them. The result is pretty snazzy.”

The Sound Garden allows anyone to play music, any time. We love it when the Sound Garden inspires impromptu jam sessions, too.