Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sounds of Music

Dear Friends,

As the Swedish band, ABBA would sing in the seventies, "THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC, THE SONGS I AM SINGING".

I have always been passionate about music and regretted that I was not given the chance to learn it during my childhood. Hempen growing up years, I had to just contend with tuition as 'extra curricular' at that time. When I grew up and with assurance,I would put myself through music classes. As my maxim goes, the spirit was willing but the head was not. It was because I am always 'So Busy' that I 'assured' myself that I DO NOT HAVE THE TIME.

If only we have more than 24 hours in a day, many would say. Apart from the eight hours of sleeping time, are we really exploiting the remaining 16 hours of our awaken time? Are we really busy or do we think we are busy doing the wrong things? We tend to flow with the rat race motion that we have forgotten to value LIFE.

Recently, I came across a TRUE STORY.

This happened in Washington DC's Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approximately two thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes, a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 Minutes Later:
The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw the money in the hat and without stopping, continued to walk.

6 Minutes Later:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 Minutes Later:
A three year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent without exception forced their children to move on quickly.

45 Minutes Later:
The musician played continuously. Only six people stopped and listened for a short while. About twenty gave a tip but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32 dollars.

An Hour Later:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was JOSHUA BELL, one of the greatest 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, Joshua Bell had a sold out theater in Boston, where the seats averaged a hundred bucks.
This is a true 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 PEOPLE'S PRIORITIES.
The questions raised is this. In a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we PERCEIVE beauty? Do we stop to APPRECIATE it? Do we RECOGNIZE talent in an unexpected context? One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this; If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made; How many other things are we MISSING in life?

Not wanting a repetition of history , my junior is able to play the piano and my princess both the piano and the violin. May I suggest you take some time today to breathe, to smell the flowers and to appreciate a loved one.

And me; NO, I CAN'T PLAY THE VIOLIN. Maybe, a Joshua Bell wannabe?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your son can play piano? Must have melted many hearts :)) Great piece!