I sat there scrolling through my feed in the morning, as I usually do, and stumbled upon it. I knew what would happen as soon as I did. These things do have a tendency to move me so. But I clicked, anyway. And when it was over I sat there, kicking myself for getting all weepy over a fucking commercial, guerrilla marketing, whatever you’d like to call it. Didn’t matter, though. The one always leads to the next.
I watched this one closer than I did the first, the faces of the folx in the square, first just a touch of surprise at what starts out to be a small gathering of musicians, a troupe of street performers, perhaps. Parents pushing strollers, kids running around just because, the din of the crowd alongside the cellos. And then more musicians join, the interest in the faces of the people increasing as the number of players do, curious as to what has just started and what is about to happen. And then the Ode begins to build, cafe-goers up in their seats now before it explodes, this unexpected gift to the square, some of the singers holding a child as their audience does. And I’m moved again. Is it the emotion of the music, my connection to this particular piece that draws this response from me? No. It isn’t that. And off I go again.
Moved again. Does it stem from the subversive nature of the act? Bringing music into a space that is meant to be silent, the group more powerful than the one, usurping convention to bring the audience a performance where there otherwise would be none? Is it the look of wonder of the readers in the library as they listened to those strong, beautiful voices echoing among spines through the hall? The message of performing “Here Comes The Sun” in an unemployment office and the woman in the headband so visibly moved by it?
It is all of these things and more. The power of the collective, the shared experience of the audience in a public space, each member experiencing a variation of feelings brought on by the same piece of music. Together. It’s the wonder and whimsy of the spectacle, the bringing of art to the people and the exchange of energy between the players and the viewers. I’ll admit, I’m showing my idealism here, but these are trying times we’re living in. I think it’s easy for beauty to get lost amongst the ruins as we go about our day-to-day. It’s there, though. In the mob.