make music, not noise

Make music, not noise

Word spread
throughout Hanoi
that there was a street cleaner who made music
as she collected the trash
Other street cleaners began to do the same,
and soon the entire city was full
of merry music makers

♫ ♫ ♫

It’s wonderful,
said the locals
The street cleaners have inspired us all
to make music instead of noise

♫ ♫ ♫

Then one day
a local official decided to organize
Hanoi’s first Trash Cart Music Festival
at Hàng Đẫy Stadium

The street cleaners began
to polish their compositions
and to meet once a week in small groups
to improvize and jam together

Some added gongs, triangles, additional bells
and a few other things
of varying shape and size
to their carts
in order to increase the range
of possibilities

♫ ♫ ♫

On the day of the event
the stadium was filled to capacity
All the street cleaners in Hanoi had gathered there,
and before a panel of judges
each one played her cart in turn

The crowd cheered and applauded
at the end of each piece,
and after the last woman had played,
the judges announced their decisions

Five million đồng was awarded
to the winner of each category:
most original composition;
composistion most pleasing to listen to;
and most creative collection of objects used to create music

Five hundred thousand đồng was given
to each of the participants
so that they could buy more instruments
for their carts

And for the grand finale
all the women played together,
improvising their way
into the realm of legend

♫ ♫ ♫