Friday, December 24, 2010

Flash Mob

By Uncle Hans

Ordinarily, I don't send you this stuff, but this is interesting, (For my brother, maybe for a holiday season blog). I don't know if you have heard of the "Flash mob" thing but it is a cell phone phenomenon where people text one another to be in certain place and time and spontaneously do bizarre things in a seemingly random fashion and cause a scene, then disappear leaving the crowd to scratch their heads. Many of the participants don't even know one another. Examples are on this youtube page.

Anyway, the Hallelujah Chorus is a natural flash mob event, probably the best ever. A borderline mentally ill genius composer named Handel wrote this piece (called "The Messiah") in something like 17 days about 300 years ago. It is pure genious, one of the most creative and beautiful pieces ever written. It is the favorite of choirs and orchestras everywhere.

It is a cult. Once you have done it as a musician, you forever have the right (and are encouraged to ) stand and join in in any performance you attend, when the Hallelujah Chorus comes. It is the final song in about a 2 hour extravaganza. Most groups never get good enough to do the whole thing, it is super difficult. I have done it twice, once with an orchestra, but only the easiest one third or so.

Anyway, so you see, this flash mob is a spontaneous and mysterious event not entirely understood by it's audience and then suddenly the audience is invited to join in. There are three groups in the crowd. It is fun to watch and decide which group each person is in. The flash mobbers obviously know the music and are quite good. A second group has done it before and joins in, knowing or remembering their parts as by the cult tradition. The third group just gets swept along and sings "Hallelujah!". There may be a fourth group that just stands in wonder.

It is wierd, but wonderful. It really catches the spirit of the season!

Merry Christmas
By Uncle Hans