Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Pearls Before Breakfast

a while back i stumbled upon a fascinating story written for the washington post that was titled "pearls before breakfast". the heading read "can one of the nation's great musicians cut through the fog of a D.C. rush hour?"

joshua bell, world renowned violinist, agreed to 'play' street musician for a day in a D.C. metro station. dressed in jeans and a baseball cap he opened up his violin case and began to play some of the most beautiful and difficult classical pieces ever written. over 1000 people would pass him on their way to work, but would they stop to listen?
about ten years ago burger king advertised the slogan “fast food for fast times.” they were right. everything about our lives is fast; we are constantly rushing for one reason or another. one side effect of this speed is that we tune out the things around us. we can’t lose focus.“pearls before breakfast” beautifully illustrates this principle. are people so focused that they will really ignore the sublime when it is right in front of them? perhaps we should focus on what we are becoming, rather than what we are doing.

beautifully written, thought provoking; go read it here.


Jared said...

I am Katrina's husband, so how many people removed is that? Anyway, thank you for pointing out the article "Pearls before breakfast"! What a striking and disturbing commentary and condemnation of our culture--or lack thereof. I actually saw--heard, experienced--Joshua Bell while I was at the University of Utah, and it was one of the most amazing musical experiences of my life. His passion was tangible. I remember seeing the broken strings of his violin, as if the intensity of his playing were too much for the instrument to handle. Kind of reminds you of that question of whether we would recognize Jesus in a crowd...

Sarah said...

I just read about this on Abstract the Day. So interesting.
I really hope I would have stopped.
Badly Drawn Boy made a video which was him busking at Waterloo station in London. He did it all day. I don't think he made that much money!
And so glad you enjoyed the cd. Didn't cost much at all to send so the postie may just deliver another to you sometime!

M.Keene said...

I just stumbled across your blog today and am very happy I did. Thank you for posting this. What an incredible article! We all would like to think we would have been one of the few to stop, but truly I am not quite sure. We are all guilty of rushing through life and cutting ourselves off from the more beautiful aspects of it. Articles like this one, and your blog post, are a great reminder to slow down and take stock on what is really important. And when it comes down to it, a few extra moments in the morning spent listening to something sublimely beautiful is unforgetable (Joshua Bell or not)...getting to your empty office job a few minutes late is completely unimportant. Just my two cents.

Katrina said...

Ah, well I see my husband beat me to it-- Just wanted to say thanks for posting this. Totally fascinating experiment!

Barb said...

The most incredible thing is how far this story has traveled. I've seen it on several blogs, and so has my husband- it's gotten a TON of buzz.