Posts Tagged ‘music’

The term “flash mob” was first coined in 2003. It refers to a group of people who suddenly gather in a public place, perform an unusual act for a set period of time, and then disappear into the crowd again as if nothing happened. They happen all over the world now, and are often filmed and posted on the internet.

A friend recently sent me this video. This flash mob was organized by the Banco Sabadell in Spain in recognition of its 130th anniversary. Watch for the little girl conducting from the lamp post!

I bet you’ll be smiling by the end. Music truly is the universal language of the heart.


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The town of Cateura, Paraguay, is built on a landfill. Residents sort through the garbage to find items that can be sold. One day an orchestra director and music teacher came to town to teach children how to play violins and flutes. But they didn’t bring enough instruments for all those who wanted to play.

The town’s scrap dealers found a creative solution to the challenge. They built violins, violas, guitars and horns out of junk found in the landfill. The music that emerges from these recycled instruments rivals the greatest orchestras in the world.

As the orchestra director points out in a video about the project, it’s a valuable lesson in recognizing the potential value in much of what we consider to be “garbage”. It’s also about recognizing the value of every human being, the potential for growth and passion that exists in each one of us, regardless of where we live and the circumstances in which we live.

May you and your family enjoy the blessings of  good health, shared joy, and beauty this holiday season.

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In the city of Montreal, people are discovering the joy of collaboration. A team of designers installed twenty-one swings near a bus stop. When people sit on them and begin to swing, music starts to play.

Each swing triggers different notes. The full piece of music only emerges when everyone swings in unison.

The project is bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds, drawn by the opportunity to swing like a child and to make music at the same time. As they swing, people begin to discover the different notes and realize that, by moving as one, they can create a beautiful symphony.

The design team is in the process of creating a travelling version of the swings so that these collective moments can be shared around the world.

This project gives me reason to dream bigger. If 21 strangers can create beautiful music together by synchronizing their movements in Montreal, imagine what we could do if we worked together for the common good in our neighbourhoods, communities, countries … !

Everything is possible. It’s up to us. One word, one step, one action at a time.

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I remember reading a quote by Ray Charles once in which he said music was a necessity of life for him, like food or water. It was an integral part of his very being. I may not play an instrument or sing (at least not in public!) but I can recognize mastery in others. I want to share with you a few of the musicians, singers and songwriters who bring music to life for me with their extraordinary gift for expressing my deepest feelings, longings and dreams.

When my children were young, they were lucky enough to have Duncan Addison as a piano teacher. Duncan embodied music. It flowed from every cell of his being. Watching him play the piano, teach students or conduct a choir was like watching joy in motion. Although he has since passed away, I smile every time I think of his boundless love of music and how eager he was to share that love with everyone he met.

Last week, one of my favorite local musicians was playing in our city square. Juneyt is originally from Turkey and is one of the most gifted and versatile guitarists I’ve ever met. He seems equally at home playing popular cover songs as he is performing challenging flamenco pieces, many of which are his own compositions. He recently released his debut album, Ocean, and is already making plans for a second one. Naturally, given that I dance flamenco, that’s the music that makes me sit up and take notice.

He leans forward over his guitar, caressing it like a lover, body swaying with the melody, fingers alternating between tapping the wood and deftly picking at the strings. The haunting sound and increasing intensity of the rhythm cause the rest of the world to fall away and all that remains are the soulful vibrations – of passion and of life.

Another local singer and songwriter who is making a name for herself is Sue Baker Proud. The joy and ease with which she sings fills my heart with light, and her lyrics seem divinely inspired. In remembrance of 9/11 and her visit to Ground Zero, she wrote Only Love Remains. The first time I heard it, I was moved to tears.

Sue is working on her first CD and will be performing on October 2 at 1:30 p.m. at The Museum in downtown Kitchener. She will be singing a song she wrote as the result of a silent auction bid for the Dream for Uganda event.

Recently a friend sent me a link to a trio of breathtaking singers, Il Volo. Just teenagers, when these three Italian tenors start to sing, audiences are spellbound. Where do these powerful voices come from? I delight in the obvious joy they feel when singing, and the twinkle in their eyes in anticipation of the audience’s reaction.

How blessed we are that these artists (and others like them) exist!  The pleasure they bring into the world is two-fold: they’re doing what they love to do, and we get the joy of listening to them!

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