Sunday, February 27, 2011

Do You Hear the People Sing?

I've just returned from the state capitol, where I faced two substantial audio challenges. One, the difficulty of recording in a giant, echo-y space full of yelling people, has been ongoing for the last two weeks. The second issue arose today, while recording a flash mob consisting of hundreds of musicians singing a song from Les Miserables. Not only was I standing in the middle of the same acoustic nightmare that has plagued news media for the last 13 days, but I was fighting back tears and the urge to sniffle. Luckily (or not, depending how you look at it), I had experienced this problem while recording Russ Feingold's concession speech at the former (sniffle) U.S. Senator's "victory" "party" this November. Ten minutes of great audio, ruined by the bodily functions of myself and my fellow campaign interns.

This time, fortunately, I succeeded in keeping my emotions in check (though I dare you to stand in the capitol rotunda, surrounded by hundreds of friends from the arts and music community while they perform an incredibly moving song and not tear up). And to those of you who suggest that burying your feelings is not healthy or productive, I present my new favorite recording as evidence to the contrary.

HOST: At 1:00 p.m. on the 13th day of protests in Madison, Wisconsin, hundreds of singers and instrumentalists suddenly burst into song. The "Les Miserables" Flash Mob was organized in a single day by community arts activists Sarah Marty and Jordan Peterson.

The above version is edited, and includes interviews with Jordan and Sarah. I had to condense the song itself for time and audio quality. Because the amazing singers and instrumentalists deserve their full props, and because I do not want you to miss out on the MAD AWESOME trumpet action that took place this afternoon, I'm also including audio of the full performance below:

And just in case you STILL can't get enough Les Mis Flash Mob, check out this fabulous video by Charles Uphoff:

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