16 04 2009

I’m supposed to be working on the Guitar curriculum (and I am, I really am), but after going over some of the videos and video blog entries about the Youtube Symphony, I suppose I have to commit this to a journal entry before I can effectively work on that curriculum.

For those of you who don’t know about the YT Symphony, a few months ago, YouTube announced it would be putting together a symphony orchestra via online audition. The music was posted online, and amateur and professional musicians from all over the world were encouraged to study, practice, and audition. In the end, more than 90 musicians were chosen, flown to America (Google, the owner of YouTube, footed the bill), and as I type this, are probably performing for the first time at none other than the New York’s revered Carnegie Hall.

I’m not going to gush about the innovative selection process – in the end, even the YT Symphony is still a symphony orchestra, albeit a very multicultural one. And besides, most of the internet news reports about the YT Symphony have already done a much better job in doing so that I really care to do at the moment.  Actually, this post was inspired by watching the many video reports posted by some of the participants themselves (you can view some of them here, here, and here, plus feed your ever-growing curiosity by going to the YT Symphony channel here and engorging yourself).

Some of the videos actually feature nothing more than the author talking about his or her experiences during the day, but if you take the time to watch and listen (they’re actually well-prepared – if their posts are improvised, it doesn’t show), you’ll see something – the look in their eyes, the twists of lip and tongue – that really shows they’re excited with what they are doing and well, that get’s me excited!

I found myself pining while watching the videos – not that I wanted to be there (although that would have been really cool – they could have used more Asians!), but that I want to put that kind of experience, that kind of excitement into the musicians in The Orchestra.

Dream with me a bit here: if you could get 90+ not-so-talented, willing-to-work-hard musicians together, all between age 11 and 25, teach them that music is in the end, all about God and not about us,  and then get them working together on music that they enjoy (or will eventually learn to enjoy). 10 months later, they’ve seen the face of God and they’ve become family: they laugh, they joke, they tease one another, they, respect one another, they bicker, they love (although that kind of love hasn’t happened yet – it’s always someone outside The Orchestra who doesn’t understand or really care about what’s going-on…or so I think). They enjoy the music, they appreciate the hard work necessary to perform it well, and they rareing to get onstage.

Now imagine being able to take this colossal  musical force and bring them to places they’ve never been to, to perform on stages they’ve never imagined standing on. Imagine giving them the opportunity to travel together, to eat (really eat!) together, to give the hotel staff headaches with their fun-loving antics together. Imagine them playing to full houses, moving themselves to tears, uplifting their own spirits, opening the eyes of their own imaginations with the music their very hands are creating. Imagine the squeals of joy and excitement backstage as they celebrate their achievement. Imagine the audience unable to restrain themselves in their seats, the peals of thunderous applause raining down from the balconies – imagine the pride of the parents, the ones who were somewhat skeptical about the whole affair but nevertheless gave their support. Imagine the glow on the musician’s faces as they prepare for the trip home, the tears as they part ways.

Imagine how a person can be changed by all that – the influence such an experience would have on them for the rest of their lives.

Sure, this happens in the professional ensembles (well, the younger ones, at least) where the musicians are trained and all. But my dream has a twist – it’s about giving the ordinary, the not-so-special ones a chance, an opportunity to prove to themselves and to the world that what they desire, what they work for, they will achieve. And it’s about inspiring the nameless everyman – that he or she can also achieve extraordinary things.

Of course, there are so many things that stand in the way – logistics, lack of parental support (believe it or not, there are parents who view what we do as a waste of time), lack of peer support (Aw, isn’t that cute? Kiddies playing onstage. So did you get the name of that cutie you saw yesterday?), and ultimately, lack of financial support (What you do is inspiring, but what’s in it for my company? Will it increase profits?). Yeah, sooner or later, it boils down to money…or the miserable lack of it. How I hate that.

(On a side note: the little company commentary about profit actually took place and ended with the well-known company dissolving their orchestra and fielding a basketball team. It’s just good business. Boo.)

But I…I must continue to dream…and to seek out dreams that in turn inspire me to dream, so that maybe someday, before I am old and gray and too dead to care, the dreams will come true, so that someone else, in turn, can dream.

Come, dream with me…yes, dream…




5 responses

16 04 2009

dreams do come true! :>

17 04 2009

Hi eigen!

Upon reading this, I thought of forwarding this to you. 🙂


17 04 2009

hi eigen!

your entry made me dream for great things as well and it made me even more determined to pray about it.

Hosea 6:3 says, “Keep on keeping on.”
literal translation of Helen Roseveare’s Swahili bible

17 04 2009

It’s all about the dreams, old friend. Congratulations on your wedding, btw 🙂

22 04 2009

thanks eigs.
hope to meet up with you soon to reminsce
the old days when i sit-in in your physics class,
our near midnight strolls in the campus after MT practice and most especially, our acoustic jamming sessions whenever most people are away and only a few are left behind which includes us oftentimes. 🙂

i live in the south, not in qc anymore.
pasong tamo, makati to be exact.

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