Reader Aaron Apter has an excellent blog post up about his misadventures with a broken weight plate and a lot of iOS apps.
He's got a way with words and will take you on quite a journey.
I’ve been trying to establish rules for myself lately, which (for a self-employed musician riddled with ADD) is about as effective as starting a diet at Christmas time. However, the other day I stumbled across a set of boundaries that immediately made me want to explore it’s four walls. During a Labor Day group workout my gym, someone dropped a bar and accidentally broke in half a well-worn 25lb plate. Half-jokingly, I asked if I could take home the remains and attempt to put them to musical use. While permission was granted, I definitely got the vibe that others thought I either was up to my antics or a fool to think I could make music out of such a dull and lifeless looking/sounding piece of rubber. That perceived slight was both the motivation and boundaries I had been desperately seeking!
My visions of serendipitously discovering a new musical holy grail were quickly dashed as I played with the weight at home. Usually found objects have some sort of unique tonal characteristic to them. The hollow bong from an empty 2 liter of Coke, the clank of a piece of scrap metal, the bass heavy thump from a large water cooler jug. Yea, this had none of that. No resonance, no shimmer, no nothing. It sounded exactly as lifeless as one would expect a dense scrap of rubber to. Perhaps those doubters at the gym were right.
He frames the whole article as a parable on finding creativity through limitations. This is very true, but I think it is also a testament to the fact that if you know what you're doing, you really can make music out of garbage. You can see both for yourself in this video!