This is so awesome. Please take a moment to read:


china
#1
A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by, and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, and continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?
Puerto Rico de Tour | Facebook

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I guess Washington DC ain't a musical town. ha
 
Cannuck
#2
Quote: Originally Posted by chinaView Post

.... as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

I thought this was rather silly the first time I saw it and my mind hasn't changed much. It has nothing to do with priorities, perceiving or appreciating beauty, not having time to stop and listen and it certainly matters little what caliber of musician is involve. The only real story here is that the general population does not generally appreciate classical music. No big surprise there as classical radio stations have never ruled the airwaves (at least in my or my parents lifetime). If the guy was playing jazz on a trumpet or blues on a steel guitar he most likely wouldn't get much response either.
 
JLM
+1
#3  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by chinaView Post

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by, and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, and continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?
Puerto Rico de Tour | Facebook

.






I guess Washington DC ain't a musical town. ha

Yep, kind of sad. More people would have probably stopped to watch and listen if it had been a rooster fight!
 
Liberalman
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by JLMView Post

Yep, kind of sad. More people would have probably stopped to watch and listen if it had been a rooster fight!

Don't you mean coc fight?
 
Walter
#5
Bell did this in January of '07. Anything out of context, such as meeting someone where you don't expect to see them, will cause confusion and does not necessarily mean you don't appreciate good music. A subway station is not a good place to listen to a sensitive instrument.
 
bobnoorduyn
#6
It is kind of understandable. On the underground London they played a recorded message on the PA telling people not to pay any attention to buskers because it only encourages them, but there are a lot of them, and some are pretty good. Plus you have to remember, this is a transit station, they are a necessary evil, people don't go there for reflection and relaxation. A park may have been a more suitable venue.

As for not being recognized, (and hell, I couldn't tell a $3.5M violin from one of Ashley MacIsaac's peed on fiddles), I was walking through the airport in Halifax when I noticed up ahead, Alan Doyle was tossing something in a trash bin. A lady was coming toward me holding out her boarding pass, looking at me,(because I'm staff) and said, "excuse me..." at which point Mr. Doyle wheeled around, grabbed her hand, and with a big smile said, "Hi, I'm Alan". Poor guy must've been afraid he'd get all the way to Saint John's without getting recognized, but I had to check to make sure Rick Mercer wasn't around and I wasn't being punk'd. But I've seen many celebrities go through airports and on airplanes, BB King, Charlie Major, Andy Garcia, Al Pacino, Prairie Oyster, The Headstones... The only one I saw who caused any sort of reaction was Monica Lewinsky, hmmm. (Mind you, there was an incident with the Headstones' manager, but he brought that on himself).
 
L Gilbert
#7
Yep. I don't see anything strange here either. If it had been a park where people would be relaxing, I bet the dude would have had quite a few people paying him attention.
 

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