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One man’s trash is another man’s treasure…or material to create a musical instrument.

Skip LaPlante, a multi-talented artist who makes hand-crafted gizmos, doodads, and thingamabobs from “stuff nobody else wanted,” will sell and play some of his creations at Flushing Town Hall on Sunday, April 14, at 5 p.m.

Actually, he has been displaying pieces — made from discarded kitchen utensils, paint can tops, belt buckles, keys, bottles, pipes, etc. — at the Northern Boulevard center since last Friday, April 5. (The exhibition ends with the concert and meet-and-greet on April 14.)

To put it simply, LaPlante has a soup-to-nuts appreciation for music. The Ridgewood resident builds instruments just as happily as he composes songs. He dives into a Dumpster with the same fervor that he plays one of his devices. He also teaches with the same passion as he listens.

The Massachusetts native graduated from Princeton University in 1973 and two years later, he founded Music for Homemade Instruments, a composer’s collective. Since then, he’s built a few thousand gadgets, including everything from marimbas to drums to zithers. (The Blue Man Group and Paul Simon are among his clients.) Plus, he has composed about 200 songs that have been performed professionally.

Since 1991, LaPlante has collaborated with Bash the Trash, a national nonprofit ensemble that teaches science, music, and environmental awareness via performances with homemade instruments in elementary schools.

Admission is free. However, there’s a $5 suggested donation and the windchimes will have varying prices. Proceeds will benefit Flushing Town Hall, Exploring the Metropolis, Outpost Artist Resources, and Materials for the Arts.

Flushing Town Hall is located at 137-35 Northern Blvd.

Photos: Flushing Town Hall (top); Bash the Trash (bottom)


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