There are many examples of traditional musicians using industrial or household items in their musical cultures. The steel drums of the Caribbean, cowbells in Latin America and even the anvil in classical music are some examples.
Stomp and, more recently, The Blue Man Group, continue to dazzle London’s West End and the biggest venues in Las Vegas with rhythmic performances using dust bins, brooms, basket balls and guttering tubes. The potential list of suitable instruments is simply endless!
For over ten years now, we have offered our unique Junk Funk teambuilding event. The purpose of this team building activity is to transform groups of almost any size into a junk percussion orchestra. It always provides a big visual spectacle and lots of fun.
Junk Funk is very popular with clients that want something totally creative, inclusive and unique – including those who have enjoyed a drumming event in the past and want to replicate a similar feeling of group power and unity. As with everything we offer, there are many variations and options to meet the specific requirements of our clients.
I never tire of Junk Funk and seeing the surprise on the faces of participants as they re-enter their meeting room (after coffee or lunch) to find the room appearing like a junk yard, with piles of everyday objects. They do not yet realise that every item of scrap has been carefully chosen for its particular sonic and rhythmical properties!
Our rhythm facilitator quickly explains the musical plan and then it’s straight into creating an uplifting junk orchestra. The huge industrial plastic bin section lays down a strong foundation. Then, the pots and oven trays create a call and response melody. The step ladder section adds an intriguing rasping harmony. In the end, we have seven separate sound sections seamlessly layered together to form one fantastic groove.
Teamwork is essential. Participants have to learn to listen, trust and support the players around them. In this workshop environment, we make full use of all the talents and skills in the room, and add speciality solos and impromptu dance sections to enhance the experience of the group. Each Junk Funk event is totally bespoke.
We quickly move from sound and rhythm to the next level by adding visual parts and choreography. Then, one more level – costume! Before participants perform their rehearsed piece for the final time, they are adorned in overalls, yellow hard hats and vizzy vests to create the look of a true urban junk yard scene.
To add further to the experience, we can theme any room, turning it into a vibrant urban setting.
One reason for Junk Funk’s increasing popularity is its environmental credentials. With greater emphasis on recycling and re-usability, Junk Funk uses nothing but re-usable items and the energy of the participants. We can even re-use actual goods and packaging from our clients, or from the venue itself. It needs practically no set up from a logistics perspective. All the ‘instruments’ are contained within our large industrial bins, which can be dragged into any meeting or conference room in seconds. So if you’re looking for something different, look no further…