Photo Courtesy of the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove, Montgomery County Audubon Collection, and Zebra Publishing (I chose the Louisiana Heron for this post as a prayer to those suffering from Hurricane Ida.)
This video, “Flashmob Flash Mob – Ode an die Freude ( Ode to Joy ) Beethoven Symphony No.9 classical music,” was published on YouTube shortly after my mom passed away in 2012. I don’t know if I watched it around that time or when, but the video has made the rounds over the years, collecting nearly 19 million views. And at a time when I wish I had the advice of my mother, I couldn’t help but notice the date.
It popped up again in my suggested videos last week at a time when I’d been doomscrolling through articles like: people (one being a US Army Veteran) needing life-saving surgeries for very treatable medical conditions only to die while waiting for a bed, suicide bombings of American soldiers and at least 90 Afghans in Afghanistan, fires out west, a deadly hurricane heading for Louisiana, a state already suffering from the latest surge of Covid cases.
Then I spotted it again in one of my favorite newsletters, Steady, a newsletter that began as letters from Dan Rather to his readers. Here is what Steady had to say about the video:
“A symphony orchestra is often used as a metaphor for the emotional power that is possible when many voices join as one. This power, however, is quite literal. There is a raw energy that emerges when disparate musical lines combine in harmony and melody. And that is especially true in the work featured here — Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.If you haven’t seen this unique performance, you’re in for a treat. As the scene unfolds, we can feel the sheer joy crescendo, a joy that comes from being connected to each other, to a place and time, and to the timelessness of music.”
I hope this video brings you joy, or gives you goosebumps, or makes you shed therapeutic tears. Sometimes we need it.