In honor of Philip Glass‘s 75 birthday, NPR Music commissioned a new piece by Glass and then rounded up a choir, a soprano soloist, a conductor, some passing strangers, and a film crew in order to perform it in Times Square. Essentially the assembled voices function as a kind of human orchestra. As perhaps is well documented, I have a passionate fondness for different forms of busking, take away shows, and flash mob choral performances. Most busking or street performance is out of need not creative design, but I think it takes an enormous amount of bravado to perform in public in this manner. I think the different ways we take high cultural forms like Glass’s music and put them in the public square–quite literally in this instance–make music and so-called high culture part of the fabric of our everyday lives.
Seriously, does NPR Music offer internships to geeky literature professors for the summer? I’m not willing to give up the day job, but this kind of thing is just too cool. I swear I’m good at photocopying.