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There was applause, but it wasn't for the airline.
June 7, 2013 1:29 PM   Subscribe

Several members of the Philadelphia Orchestra were on a flight from Bejing to Macao that got stuck on the tarmac for three hours. With nothing better to do, the musicians resorted to doing what they do best...
posted by schmod (44 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Dvorjak's American. A fine choice indeed.
posted by Think_Long at 1:34 PM on June 7, 2013


Well that settles it. Every international flight needs an on-board orchestra.
posted by goatdog at 1:36 PM on June 7, 2013 [9 favorites]


Debatable whether Macao - Beijing is considered international flight.
posted by zeikka at 1:39 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


The cell phone ringing is a nice touch -- makes you feel like you're in a real orchestra hall.
posted by payoto at 1:42 PM on June 7, 2013 [41 favorites]


Debatable whether Macao - Beijing is considered international flight.
Shit, I forgot 1999 came and went a few years ago.
posted by goatdog at 1:44 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would rather be stuck on a flight with Lemon Bucket Orkestra.
posted by Kabanos at 1:52 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is so loveable.
posted by ericost at 1:55 PM on June 7, 2013


This was great, cheers!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:04 PM on June 7, 2013


Surprisingly, the top comment was actually pretty good:
If this were in America they'd all be escorted off the plane, interrogated by the FBI, and labeled terrorists and placed on the no-fly list.
posted by tommasz at 2:11 PM on June 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


Isn't that cello a bit big to fit in the overhead compartment?
posted by dov3 at 2:19 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


It a perfect world, there would be some easy way for all of these people to designate one person as the one to take the video and then share it (or a link to the upload) with everyone who wanted it. It bugs me that every time something cool like this happens, most of what I see is a crowd of cell phones. Just sit down and enjoy the moment, you don't ALL need to get it on video!
posted by VTX at 2:19 PM on June 7, 2013 [10 favorites]


get these motherfuckin maestros of the motherf... actually forget it. lovely!
posted by Bohemia Mountain at 2:20 PM on June 7, 2013


VTX, I was about to say the same thing. So annoying.

Otherwise, that was thoroughly enjoyable!!
posted by E3 at 2:21 PM on June 7, 2013


Isn't that cello a bit big to fit in the overhead compartment?

Probably bought a second seat for it!
posted by heyforfour at 2:26 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Isn't that cello a bit big to fit in the overhead compartment?

They probably bought a seat for it.
posted by muddgirl at 2:26 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


It a perfect world, there would be some easy way for all of these people to designate one person as the one to take the video and then share it (or a link to the upload) with everyone who wanted it. It bugs me that every time something cool like this happens, most of what I see is a crowd of cell phones. Just sit down and enjoy the moment, you don't ALL need to get it on video!

I actually have the opposite thought. I wish that all the uploads would be merged together and time-synced on youtube. You should be able to flip between audio tracks and viewpoints, and even create playlists that switch camera views at specific moments to cover different aspects of what's going on.

Almost every phone shoots HD video now, and a lot have image stabilization. Within a year or two this type of thing could be like watching basically any event that happens in public as if it was shot with multiple cameras in a performance hall.

I will acknowledge that i hate people who film concerts at clubs/venues with their phones though. It's annoying as hell in a dark space.
posted by emptythought at 2:26 PM on June 7, 2013 [8 favorites]


It's just like Titanic, except the lowest travel class has even less leg room.
posted by FJT at 2:29 PM on June 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Wow, I did not know that cellists bought a ticket for their instrument. What a costly profession.
posted by dov3 at 2:32 PM on June 7, 2013


A world class cello can cost as much as a house. The price of a seat vs. risking it in baggage – even in a hard-shell case – is cheap insurance. And I doubt it's coming out of the cellist's pay, at least while they perform with this organization.
posted by keys at 2:37 PM on June 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


Hey, that was great!
posted by mosk at 2:38 PM on June 7, 2013


I want to live in a cello! Beat the hipsters at their own game.
posted by dr_dank at 2:40 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Brilliant, at 1:56 a damn phone goes off!
posted by CancerMan at 2:58 PM on June 7, 2013


Sorry, I forgot to append "for YouTube".
posted by tommasz at 2:59 PM on June 7, 2013


There is a Philadelphia in China?
posted by semmi at 3:01 PM on June 7, 2013


Tho I was raised in mid-Michigan, the Philly was "my" orchestra when I was a young student. That was still the Ormandy era, and they were considered perhaps *the* US symphony at the time. (Although I suppose you could've gotten into a classical musician's bar fight with fans of the Chicago, NY, Boston, Detroit, etc.)

These folks are not bad either.

kabanos, I'd just recently heard a guy on CBC talking about the Lemon Bucket videos.

This all reminds me of the sax showdowns and other subway videos.
posted by NorthernLite at 3:03 PM on June 7, 2013


Aw, this was really fantastic, and a nice change from the cabin full of anger I've experienced every time I've been stuck on a grounded plane.
posted by jessypie at 3:05 PM on June 7, 2013


My favorite part would be acting as one of the people that holds the sheet music, loved that detail.
posted by mathowie at 3:07 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Cool, made my day!
posted by carter at 3:08 PM on June 7, 2013


I'm a fan of classical music and opera and I love seeing the fine arts out in the world with everyday people doing everyday things.

Of course, it is this same impulse that leads people to blare their car stereos with the windows down.
posted by workerant at 3:24 PM on June 7, 2013


Using a camera radically alters your experience of an event.

Try to remember an event you photographed. Your recollection will be almost entirely of the photographs, with little or no memory of the event itself, how it affected you, or how you affected it.
posted by hexatron at 3:29 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Almost every phone shoots HD video now, and a lot have image stabilization. Within a year or two this type of thing could be like watching basically any event that happens in public as if it was shot with multiple cameras in a performance hall.

The thing about a professionally shot, multi-camera video of something like this is that they would take care to keep the other cameras out of the shots. With this, I feel like I'm looking at a bunch of people looking at their phones.

It's mostly that I'd be pissed off if I were there and everyone around me was craning around trying to get a clear shot with their phone. It would detract from my enjoyment of the moment and makes me feel sorry for the people who, instead of just sitting back safe in the knowledge that this moment is being captured video (thus freeing them up to enjoy it) they feel the need to get their own video.
posted by VTX at 3:42 PM on June 7, 2013


I got a little teary and I'm not sure why?
posted by DrGirlfriend at 3:42 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


So much better than that time I got stuck on the tarmac with Robin Williams and the Blue Man Group.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:59 PM on June 7, 2013 [8 favorites]


I specifically asked for a direct flight with no strings attached.
posted by hal9k at 4:07 PM on June 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


True story: My brother sat next to his idol on a flight out of LAX. Once. Henny Youngman spent the flight muttering quick one-liners that made bro bust out laughing, then acted like a bewildered old man trying nap whenever the steward would come to see what all the commotion was about. Almost kicked off the flight.

But there were no hard feelings. And luckily no violins.
posted by hal9k at 4:15 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Another good reason put up with the TSA and never check instruments. Tho so far I've only played in the terminal, or fingered my uke serreptitiously in my seat.
posted by Dreidl at 4:26 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


or fingered my uke serreptitiously in my seat

I think I sat next to you once!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:55 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I got a little teary and I'm not sure why?

Me, too!

I thought it was just because I was stressed out and hormonal. There were a couple of different points where the music just kind of seemed to be pulling water out of my eyelids unbidden.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:22 PM on June 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


So much better than that time I got stuck on the tarmac with Robin Williams and the Blue Man Group.

Isn't that the sixth level of hell?
posted by cacofonie at 6:11 PM on June 7, 2013


Oh hooray. That's quite a diversion from being stuck on the tarmac for that long. Still sucks being out there for three fuckin hours, but still. Good on them.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:12 PM on June 7, 2013


Nice music, and great moment, but gosh the cameras: I found only one person there who was simply enjoying the music without bothering to record it on his mobile (well actually, there was another girl who wasn't recording midway, but she was doing so in the beginning). The audience seemed receptive - they had that look of anticipation that all performers want - but I'd just take a picture at best, and simply enjoy the moment.
posted by the cydonian at 7:04 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cellists and other instrumentalists frequently have to fight with airlines over the extra-seat thing. Airlines don't take kindly to an inanimate object filling the seat of a breathing human. Even when the inanimate object is probably 10,000x more important than the obnoxious moron who would want to take its place! Playing the cello is indeed an expensive profession, but more often than not the gig will be taking care of the cost of the extra seat. Many orchestras pay for huge flight cases which can protect a collection instruments. The cases are state of the art and include inflatable air bladders to cradle the instrument. However, they are not fool-proof. A friend of mine had his cello flight-case run over by a luggage cart. The instrument was within a half inch of being destroyed. So, yeah, it's better to fly with your instrument next to you.
posted by ReeMonster at 8:05 PM on June 7, 2013


A captive audience I see. :)
posted by TheLittlePrince at 8:09 AM on June 8, 2013


Brilliant, at 1:56 a damn phone goes off!

Indeed, it's awe-inspiring how they managed to reproduce the experience of a real concert down to little details like that.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:13 AM on June 8, 2013


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