Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Washington Post’s Gene Weingarten has a great write up of their experiment to see what would happen if one of the finest musicians alive played some of the best music written on one of the best instruments ever fashioned in an ordinary metro. (i.e. Joshua Bell playing the L'Enfant Plaza on the Gibson Stradivarius) The result is a little disconcerting, and best summed up by the author’s analysis of W.H. Davies’s poetry:
If we can't take the time out of our lives to stay a moment and listen to one of the best musicians on Earth play some of the best music ever written; if the surge of modern life so overpowers us that we are deaf and blind to something like that — then what else are we missing?


Anonymous said...

There is a great response to the Joshua Bell article by a NYC subway musician in her blog:
She interprets the situation differently from the Washington Post reporters... I thought you might find it interesting.

Edward said...

The Saw Lady has a good point; busking is an art in of itself, and playing on a prepared stage is a different deal.

In a way, my own university suffers from terrible marketing/educational busking: while offering a very solid education and unique experience. It's too bad.

benjibopper said...

in barcelona the buskers play fantastic classical music in oldtown, the accustics of which surpass massey hall in quality. most people bristle by without a glance in their direction. yet they'll pay hundreds of dollars for a similar performance in a concert hall. in answer to the post's question about what we are missing: A LOT.