While scrolling through Tumblr late last night, shifting through countless posts, reblogs and likes, I stumbled upon an experiment the Washington Post conducted with Joshua Bell back in 2007. According to a quick Google search, Bell is arguably the best violinist in the world. Nice.
Bell took to Washington’s subway system and put on a 43-minute solo set for morning commuters. A little over a thousand people walked by Bell running through six classical pieces including Bach’s Chaconne, widely considered the hardest pieces to master on the violin. Playing the hardest pieces on the violin for 43 minutes on a violin valued at $3.5 million, a few days after selling out a theatre in Boston for $100 a ticket Bell made about $30 dollars from these commuters.
After hearing Toronto-based duo, Times Neue Roman, a few months earlier, I was told time and time again about their live performances. The guys have played on platforms ranging art galleries to the typical night club to Toronto International Film Festival parties (with Bono and a-list actors in attendance).
Perhaps the most interesting stage they played back of a U-Haul truck. Riding around Toronto and Vancouver and delivering live music to unsuspecting pedestrians. Talking to Times’ producer, Alexander The, he said “We look at people playing on the street and you look at them as beggars. You can’t look at it like that. That’s why we doing something with the U-Haul [truck]. You’re changing people’s perspective and letting people have a jam in a quick 2-3minute song and peace. We go to the next location.”
So the questions I pose to you is, why is it perceived that live music can only be enjoyed in a concert hall or night club? Besides our tight schedules, why can’t we enjoy live music at random points during the day? Why are street performers looked at differently than someone in a bar?