Friday, April 13, 2007

Classical violinst on the street

The Washington Post had a nice article up earlier this week, Pearls for Breakfast, which describes what happens when one of the top classical violinists in the world, Joshua Bell, dresses like a street musician and performs during the morning rush hour in a crowded Metro station.

I thought this little bit was interesting:

"The poet Billy Collins once laughingly observed that all babies are born with a knowledge of poetry, because the lub-dub of the mother's heart is in iambic meter. Then, Collins said, life slowly starts to choke the poetry out of us. It may be true with music, too.

There was no ethnic or demographic pattern to distinguish the people who stayed to watch Bell, or the ones who gave money, from that vast majority who hurried on past, unheeding. Whites, blacks and Asians, young and old, men and women, were represented in all three groups. But the behavior of one demographic remained absolutely consistent. Every single time a child walked past, he or she tried to stop and watch. And every single time, a parent scooted the kid away."

via Bob Congdon


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.

eileen said...

Thanks, Anon. I learned that Bell is a player, not a busker.