Saturday, May 11, 2013

Flash Music

So my cousin Dave shipped me this lovely bit of flash music from the Plaça de Sant Roc in Barcelona.  It's wonderful in its own right and it brought back happy memories of the day just a couple of years ago when Mrs. B and I trooped through the same square with a couple of adolescents: we elders had to yield up assorted articles of clothing so the nubile 18-year-old could pass the modesty and decency test for entry into the old church.

Mrs. B shipped Dave's clip off to the other adolescent who was with us in Barcelona; he graciously responded with a favorite of his own.  I  guess I have said before, I am totally in the tank for flash music, particularly flash opera.  Duly prompted I went looking for more exemplars to share back.

I did find some, but I also picked up a bit of unintended education.  Some takeaways: one, there are a lot of flash-whatevers: the number is growing, rapidly if perhaps not quite exponentially.  Two, they vary: some really wonderful, a few kind of bad and most--well, most pretty much you would expect "most" to be. And three, sad to say I think I can descry the viper of commercialism.  There seems to be an ad agency somewhere that can produce you a flash performance that looks just like Disney, or  maybe it is Disney (I choose not to link).

Another point, really a new-to-me insight: some  items lend themselves to flash better than others.  The "Ode to Joy," supra, works nicely.  It seems a particular favorite is Orff's Carmina Burana and I guess I can see why: big chorus, lots of noise and drama. Here's an  an appealing rendition, from the Westbahnhof in Vienna. Here's another, this from Indianapolis (seems de rigeur for the location shot to show the crowds going about their business all innocent before the music pops).

The opera standards are popular.  There's plenty of Mozart, including this from Aix.  Also Verdi; here's a bit from SFO under the name of "pop-up opera," which seems right for the occasion.  Carmen, of course; here's a gratifyingly underproduced version from the grand old Spanish city of, um, Edinburgh.  Here's another, this from Grenoble, mostly a one-person performance but I'd say the girl is good.

Indeed all good stuff, although for a real flash mob, I'd have to admit it is best to have something more, like, flash.  So it just may be the grand prize ought to go to this one from the Cape Cod Stop 'n Shop (and a tip o' the cornet mute to  my sister Sally, who sent it to me from next door in South Harwich).

Update:  And here is a more general introduction to flashmob culture.


The New York Crank said...

Hey, wait a second! I said wait-a-second! Wait a damn second, willyuh?

I go to the airport. I gotta take everything out of my pockets. I got take off my wristwatch. I gotta take off my shoes. I gotta squeeze through a narrow little frame where they irradiate me, magnetize me, and examine the contents of my suitcase.

Meanwhile, you're telling me, somebody rolls two grand pianos into Indianapolis airport, not to mention the tympani, and nobody so much as blinks?

No wonder this country is turning into slop in a stewpot! We're doomed, all doomed, and now it turns out that Carmina Burana is our funeral music.

Very crankily yours,
The New York Crank

Anonymous said...

"an appealing rendition" link fails. strip the htt off the https and it works.

marcel said...

The Cape Cod S&S link goes to the Toreador in Edinburgh.

Flash mob videos are highly addictive - here is my current favorite:

And not exactly a flash mob, but an amusing tale of free public performances:

(There's a video along with this tale). And I just found out about the older version that snopes describes.