Music and the Internet are without a doubt two of the most powerful unifying forces. Even gravity pales in comparison! And so it was only a matter of time before people from all over the world with a passion for music would somehow attain a logistical victory to assemble in New York after successive rounds of audition, undergo quick but grueling practice sessions and finally perform at the renowned Carnegie Hall. The auditions were open to all and selection was done by the YouTube community. What a remarkably democratic accomplishment!
The selection process was rigorous and winning an invitation to Carnegie wasn’t easy. After all, I can play the fool reasonably well but that didn’t win me a ticket. It’s another matter that I figured out my worthlessness on my own and didn’t even apply. The only instrument I could play as a child was the harmonium but I’m not sure the orchestra would be willing to accommodate such a horrible instrument.
The YouTube Symphony Orchestra summit this month represented nearly all regions of the world with 96 musicians from 30 countries - only Africa and the Middle East were conspicuously absent. I guess people in the Middle East are busy butchering and bombing each other to gain free access to 72 virgins in heaven - no credit card required! On the other hand, Africans are fiercely communal and would rather use money to buy weapons for ethnic cleansing than on food and bandwidth. It’s such a shame.
In the end, the event was a resounding success with the potential to dramatically alter the way musicians come together. The YouTube Symphony Orchestra literally levels the playing field and extends a helping hand to passionate musicians who would perhaps have otherwise never had the opportunity to showcase their talent. It’s a paradigm shift and does its bit in dissolving borders. Bravo!