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Posts Tagged ‘Washington Post’

Awesome WaPo piece about Joshua Bell, sort of

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

More nifty music content in a major national newspaper — this past Sunday’s Washington Post Magazine featured an article about how Joshua Bell, acclaimed classical violinist, played in a busy DC metro station at rush hour as a kind of social experiment. Surprising no one who has ever been in the DC metro at rush hour, he was resoundingly ignored, despite the predictions of Leonard Slatkin, director of the National Symphony Orchestra, who either has never been in the metro, is shockingly out of touch with the modern world, or both:

“Let’s assume,” Slatkin said, “that he is not recognized and just taken for granted as a street musician… Still, I don’t think that if he’s really good, he’s going to go unnoticed. He’d get a larger audience in Europe… but, okay, out of 1,000 people, my guess is there might be 35 or 40 who will recognize the quality for what it is. Maybe 75 to 100 will stop and spend some time listening.”

So, a crowd would gather?

“Oh, yes.”

To be fair, it seems that a few people did stop and listen for at least a few seconds or minutes, which is generally more than you can say for most street musicians in this city. But in any case, Bell’s reactions to the stunt are especially fun to read: “‘I started to appreciate any acknowledgment, even a slight glance up. I was oddly grateful when someone threw in a dollar instead of change.’ This is from a man whose talents can command $1,000 a minute.”

The article includes audio of the full 45-minute “performance,” plus selected video clips which are good fun.

Finland as the center of the music world

Tuesday, June 7th, 2005

There’s something about Finland. I posted today my review of the new Alamaailman Vasarat album, Kinaporin Kalifaatti, and their label claims that it has been doing well on Finnish pop music charts (”FINLAND ROCKS!” they claim, at least according to the Wayside catalog). Fortuitously, two other publications have articles on Finnish art today. Dusted’s headlining feature article is on the Avanto Helsinki Media Art Festival, in an article that briefly mentions “70s post-hippie progsters Haikara, Wigwam and Mummi Kutoo.” The festival sounds really fascinating, and the article is worth a read.

Also, The Washington Post has this “Finland Diary” thing going, in which two journalists write periodically on how Finland “has the world’s best educational system, produces such talented musicians and architects and has more cell phones per capita than Japan or America.” (Answer to the last item: because of the geographical difficulties of wiring the country for traditional phones, the Finnish government invested a lot of money in cell phone technology — hence Nokia’s predominance — early on in the game. So I learned in my “Sociology of Development” class in college.) This follows on an old article, I think in the New York Times, that tackled the issue of the Finnish people’s penchant for hiding emotion, which followed upon a fascinating comment that a G&S reader left for my review of Uzva’s Tammikuinen Tammela. Funny the fascination that this country has for so many folks, including me.

WaPo on Happy the Man

Sunday, August 20th, 2000

There’s a great article on Happy the Man in the Washington Post. Cool.

It has nothing to do with music of any kind, but speaking of newspapers, in the local paper today (The Winston-Salem Journal, a rather dismal publication), there was a headline in the sports section that read “Excitement of fishing with flies hard to top”. Hehehehe…