Monday, August 31, 2009

Bobby McFerrin and the Wizard of Oz

In this video, Bobby McFerrin proves his incredible mastery of vocalism, and of performing! In seven minutes he sings through the entire story of Dorothy, Toto, and her friends in Oz, and brings the entire audience into his performance.

When I was in college, my choir conductor used to talk about 'completing the circle' between performer and audience. If you have ever given a performance (musical or otherwise), you might know what I mean. The key ingredient in a transcendent performance is an audience who becomes as deeply invested and involved in the performance as the performer herself. Often it takes the form of some sort of response: clapping, cheering, and sometimes, breathless silence at the end of a piece.

Here, Bobby McFerrin brings the audience into the performance. He cannot perform without them. That, my friends, is a perfect example of 'completing the circle.'