I love this video. I love it to death. I want to wad it up and carry it around in my pocket. OK, well I guess I technically already am carrying it around in my pocket, but you get the idea. This is going to sound crazy, but I’m convinced that this video of a “flash choir” performing “The New Rule” from Philip Glass’ opera Monsters of Grace has got to be one of the hippest unhip things I’ve ever seen.
We have NPR to thank for this musical flash mob, which was assembled in Times Square to honor the composer’s 75th birthday. So much about the video above just kills me (in the best way possible). The awkward conversation early on about the rules of a flash mob, the sincerity and urgency of the performers throughout, the lady who looks just like Joan from Mad Men, THIS GUY’S NEON GREEN BEARD! It’s all fantastic, and the quality of their rendition is stunning, given that the choir consisted of unscreened volunteers who received their music via interweb and practiced only briefly together.
OK, so you may be saying to yourself, “No way. This is not hip. Flash mobs are squaresville and you’re unhip for even suggesting that.”
But consider this. Flash mobs have been unhip for a while now. They were unhip by the time one cropped up on Weeds in 2009, dancing to my favorite Michael Franti song, and they were even more unhip when Justin Timberlake used one as a tactical romantic weapon in last year’s Friends with Benefits. HOWEVER, as we all know, hipness is…
What could be more ironically hip than employing a passed-its-prime trend to honor a composer who is known for employing circular patterns in his compositions? Hmmm?
Not convinced? Then look at it this way. I desperately wish I was walking through Times Square when this happened, and I’d love to shake the hands of the people who volunteered. If jealousy over not having attended a fleeting event and envy of those who did attend don’t make this video hip, I don’t know what could. Maybe Jay-Z. He can make anything hip. Enjoy the hip clip above and The Philip Glass Ensemble’s version below, and happy late 75th birthday to Maryland’s Marauder of Minimalism, Mr. Philip Glass.