Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Flash Mobbing - Random Act of Culture in Paris, France

The Paris Choral Society, which is directed by Zach Ullery, who also directs the choir of the American Cathedral, will be performing The Messiah, by G.F. Handel Friday and Saturday, 22nd and 23rd of November at 20:00 (8pm) and 18:00 (6pm) respectively. As a means to advertise the performance and the choir, a Flash Mob event was organized.

In case you are one of those rare blog readers who doesn't know what a Flash Mob is, another name for it is "Random Act of Culture" (click the link to find out more) and they are a more or less seemingly spontaneous dance or musical offering in a public place unannounced to the people milling about or passing through. It usually happens at a train station, a public (outdoor) square or a Mall. Go here to watch a fantastic one on YouTube. And in fact, they are a YouTube phenomenon. There are many of them to watch. Enjoy!

I had the privilege to participate in one organized by the Paris Choral Society at the new Beaugrenelle Mall near my home in the 15th arondissement. We sang the Hallelujah Chorus from the Messiah by Handel and while the PCS is a pretty big choir, they asked members of the American Cathedral choir to join them and singers to bring other singer friends. The singers were arranged on balconies around a gallery. There was a piano on lowest level, where the accompanist and Zach were. When I arrived the mall was busy, but not packed. But it got fuller and fuller as the appointed hour neared and there was barely any space to stand at the balcony (which was the only way to see Zach). As it turned out, I couldn't see Zach no matter where I stood, and as there was hardly any room to move, I just gave up and tried to keep an eye on singers' mouths who could see him. And the piano was impossible to hear! Oh well. I think it turned out well though, if the preliminary videos is anything to go on.

I will post the video when it's available!

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