Cecilia Arditto Delsoglio

Anthropology of trash (2020)

for alto flute and objects as found in the containers (ca 22’)
I.Textiles  II.Glass III. Plastic IV. Paper  V.Metal
dedicated to Alu Montorfano


Anthropology of trash explores the sound quality of discarded objects. This title is inspired by the branch of modern anthropology that deals with the Theory of Thing. Anthropology of trash makes music with materials already classified (orchestrated) in the recycle containers: textiles, paper, glass, plastic and metal. The outcome of this sound exploration is can be defined as liminal, unplugged electronics, without equipment. Minimal amplification emphasizes the use of organized objects organized in the musical score.


Anthropology of trash transforms simple materials into refined sounds

The alto flute plays subtle sounds focused on the emission of sound itself. The flute techniques focus on the action of the lips, tongue and glottis and the modulation of the sound by the opening of the oral cavity. The music also works with the internal turbulence of polyphonic sounds.
The flute in Anthropology of trash is an extension of the human body. The simple objects founded on the trash cans come directly from the immediate world around us. Both the sound from the flute and the sounds from the objects refer to our everyday world. A known and familiar world, that through the composition process acquires an abstract and a poetic condition.
Objects are on stage with the flute: a sophisticated musical instrument coming from the classical tradition. This combination enhances the sound qualities of the simple means.
Contemporary anthropology reflects on objects (Theory of Thing) and their role in our consumer society. Our music too. Anthropology of trash makes chamber music with the objects, transforming them into refined musical instruments. This usage is a re-appropriation, a confrontation to a market that decides what is obsolete or what is not. This categorization not only defines objects but also people and ideologies. Our objects are now, empowered on stage. Their sounds are written in a music score having because of that “eternal life.” This act of re-appropriation of forgotten things is not related to the idea of nostalgia but to resistance and change.

Anthropology of trash stage design



– Minimal amplification for flute and percussion table (see diagram)
– Two music stands with lights
– Percussion table (or any table)
2 microphone stands without the mics (only the stands)


Related works:

• Anatomy of a jar (2020)
• Música invisible for flute (2003)
• Musique Concrète
• The dearest dream (2018)