Thursday, December 11, 2014

I think that the unexpected nature of this elevates it to an entirely different level. Without the surprise factor, this is beautiful. Adding the where and how - the video becomes "Wow".

Watching this unfold is sort of like the slow unwrapping of a Christmas gift. The expectation increases with each measure played. A lone cellist begins quietly as the buzzing and chatter of the background noise begins to subside. People hustling here and there slowly begin to realize something is happening. The cellist is joined by a bassist, then woodwinds and other strings and brass. As the sound builds the background chatter is completely stopped. A harp is wheeled in from the left side. People smile and forget about where they are and what they are doing, becoming totally entranced by each moment of the performance. Then, from on high, voices - joined by more voices. Soon that solo cellist has been joined by 119 other musicians. Watch for the look on the audience member's faces as each piece of the video is presented. Imagine, as delightful as this is on YouTube, what it must have been like standing right there next to the person playing an instrument or singing. "Joy to the World", indeed.

A few months ago I saw an article about Franciscan friars who had taken over a closed store at an indoor shopping mall. Squeezed in among the retail stores, the friars offered a beverage to those who stopped in, as well as being there (in Franciscan speak, "present") to talk with anyone who wanted to stop. Another unexpected nature. The juxtaposition of the hustle and bustle of retail shopping against the solemn presence of these professed religious brothers.

It's Advent, so it is almost a requirement to mention another unexpected juxtaposition, that of a newborn infant in a manger with his mother and father. Regal poverty (regio paupertate). And the source material for both "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" and "Joy to the World".

Happy Advent. Merry Christmas.

- -
Flash Mob: The U.S. Air Force Band at the Smithsonian
Video originally published on YouTube by the U.S. Department of Defense on Dec 5, 2013
Starting with a single cellist on the floor of the National Air and Space Museum's "Milestones of Flight" gallery, and swelling to 120 musicians, The U.S. Air Force Band exhilarated museum visitors with its first-ever flash mob. The four-minute performance featured an original arrangement of "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring/Joy to the World," led by the band's commander and conductor, Col. Larry H. Lang. Unsuspecting museum visitors including tourists and school groups were astonished as instrumentalists streamed into the gallery from behind airplanes and space capsules, and vocalists burst into song from the Museum's second floor balcony.

Walking In The Light on Twitter
And now on Facebook

No comments: