Saturday, March 1, 2008

Music: The Great Cultural Connector, or How A Radio Broadcast Made Me Cry

Earlier this week, I heard NPR's coverage of the New York Philharmonic's visit to North Korea. You've probably seen the coverage in newspapers or online.

But the performance? You could just hear the energy crackling in the air, delivered by the music, to the listeners and back again to the performers.

Although the orchestra was effectively playing to a concert hall full of elites, I had hoped in my heart of hearts that somehow people of humbler means were able to hear the broadcast in that country. That it made a connection to the outside world that they may never have experienced before. That it gives them hope that one day the world will open up for them more than it has so far.

It's what made me mist up a little - the thought that music could bridge the political and cultural gap.

And get to the part of just being a human, appreciating the expression of feelings through sound.

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