Trial Balloon

Trial Balloon: May 1, 2009 Archive

Spreading A Good Virus

Posted at 5:30 AM on May 1, 2009 by Dale Connelly (24 Comments)


Speaking of the flu virus and dandelions in spring, this video has been spreading unchecked through e-mail boxes worldwide.

Kate sent it to me because she thought (correctly) that I would be charmed by the sight of musicians from far flung corners of the world - people who have never met - playing together on "Stand By Me", using the technological tricks of sound and film editing. It's great.

This is the result of ten year's work by a producer named Mark Johnson and an organization called "Playing for Change". Not only is the video a neat technological accomplishment, but they've been phenomenally successful at marketing, not only through viral video, but by getting Mr. Johnson on Bill Moyer's show and Jay Leno's too, as well as getting hard copies of the audio and video spread around through Concord Records and Starbucks. .

And for what purpose? The organization is trying to raise money to build music schools in impoverished places all around the globe. On a May Day when we've got lots to worry about, it's reassuring to know people are also working hard to make good things happen.

Music lends itself to inspiring collaborations with and without technology.
No doubt the success of Playing For Change will inspire imitations and elaborations.
We've already seen the You Tube Symphony Orchestra.
What's the next step?


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