I used to see this guy (below) busking regularly outside our local Tesco.
Puffy jacket, tracksuit bottoms, Nike trainers – he doesn’t look like your typical violinist, but man could he play.
I was reminded of him today when reading about a social experiment carried out by the Washington Post. In 2007 they asked one of the world’s best violinists to play in the foyer of a subway station in Washington during rush hour. And so for 45 mins Joshua Bell played some intricate Bach compositions on a $3.5m violin and barely anyone noticed, let alone stopped to listen.
And so the question that the Washington Post wanted us to ask ourselves is as follows…
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?
Tesco on a Saturday afternoon in Sligo is not necessarily a place you expect to hear beautiful violin music, especially when it’s played by a burly man in tracksuit bottoms and trainers. But that doesn’t mean you won’t find it there.
Sometimes we all need to open our eyes, our ears, and especially our minds.