Recycled rhythms

Published 4:18 pm Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Junkman brought more than just recycled “junk” with him to Fuqua School last week. He brought laughter, clapping hands and stomping feet for students of all ages.

Donald Knaack, better known as The Junkman, performs percussion music using only recycled materials, such as old pots and pans or inedible rice and beans in jars. He finds his items at yard sales, in dumpsters or just abandoned. Knaack has been known to use snowboards, car fenders, hubcaps, glass bottles, frying pans, fly swatters, brake drums, egg whisks and saw blades to make music, according to his website.

The performance, which took place last Thursday afternoon, welcomed not only Fuqua students, but ones from Calvary Christian School and homeschool students.

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His message is clear after viewing his performance: don’t waste when you can use. He encouraged students to recycle and reuse by chanting catchy slogans such as “don’t let the water run.”

These slogans are part of his environmental program called Help OUR Planet, or HOP.

Knaack has spread his message at schools across the country, along with musical acts Black Eyed Peas, Eminem and Phish; and appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, CBS Sunday Morning, CBS News and more.

Students were encouraged to play along with him by stomping their feet and clapping their hands.

Toward the end of his performance, he invited volunteers to play in front of the audience along with him.

The Junkman said percussion is made by striking, rubbing or shaking an item, and students were encouraged to do just that during his performance.