Thursday, January 15, 2009

Violinist in Metro-WDC

Sent as forward with too much crap/address stuff, but felt it worth sending on to a few select souls. Worth reading.

*Violinist in the Metro--- Wash, DC

> 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 thousands of
> 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 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 best musicians in the world. He played one of the most
> intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5
> million dollars.

> Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold
out at $100 a seat.

> 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?

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