Movie Monday – Surprised By Joy

Today is #MovieMonday, which I take as an invitation to post a collection of film clips from around the web which struck me in various ways.

This week I thought I would focus on music. Mostly I’m looking at a new genre of musical performance art–the Classical Music Ambush.

A classical music ambush is a candid video which captures or fictionally envisions a moment of joy–the surprise and wonder of a crowd when elite music suddenly appears in an unexpected place. Such an ambush can come in two forms–either you get a Philharmonic Flash mob, in which a full symphony orchestra suddenly pulls out their instruments or emerges from hiding in a public space to play a great piece of music–or you can also see a classical soloist or a small quartet, people who normally can never be seen and heard without spending hundreds of dollars per ticket, playing as a lonely busker for free in a public space full of ordinary people.

Here’s a Philharmonic Flash Mob video to illustrate the principle. This Ambush took place in the Plaça de Sant Roc in Sabadell, Spain. The bassist waits for a little girl to put a coin in his hat…and then it begins. Within seconds what’s happening is the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Ninth, the “Ode to Joy”.

And here it happens aboard a train in Copenhagen. The music is is Grieg’s “Peer Gynt”. And the expression on the one woman’s face would have been worth all the time and trouble, all by itself.

Here one of the world’s greatest violinists, Joshua Bell, plays for over forty minutes in the Metro subway station of DC. 

It was an experiment arranged by Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post. He wanted to know if one of the world’s greatest musicians playing some of the world’s greatest music would be able to penetrate the morning haze of DC commuters trying to get to work.

Answer: NO. Joshua Bell made a total of $32.17 – this is a man whose talents can typically command thousands of dollars a minute. And worse…at the end of each piece, the station is thunderously silent. No applause. And his largest tip…was from a woman who recognized him. She had seen him give a free concert at the Library of Congress.

One last video on parting. It isn’t classical music, just a video from a young student who makes stylish videos of himself dancing to various music.

He calls himself “JSM”- Just Some Motion. And here he is dancing to Parov Stelar’s “All Night Long”. As the Wimp movie site link says…the man moves like mercury.

 Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we all get to see it and share this stuff.

What a world. What a species.


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About Arinn

Author, Game Developer, Anthropologist, Feminist, reformed Supervillainess.
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2 Responses to Movie Monday – Surprised By Joy

  1. Einsammler says:

    I would like to respond to the final video with an artist I have been following on youtube for some time:
    TakeSomeCrime moves in a way that is a Basilisk to me, beautiful in a way I have difficulty turning away from.

    I’m told the ad revenue of Youtube is shared with the people posting the video at least sometimes. Not only can we share it, but thereby contribute materially to the artist. I don’t need a jetpack in this future we have.

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