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Glissendo
June 17, 2009 7:07 PM   Subscribe

Monks on Segways, with fire on the top of their heads, playing "Lightning" by Philip Glass.
posted by geoff. (82 comments total) 105 users marked this as a favorite

 
Does exactly what it says on the box.
posted by furtive at 7:10 PM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


That is an absurdly neat use of a segway. I'm pretty sure I've had nightmares like that though.
posted by Stunt at 7:12 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Concept and technical design by Ulik (the mechanical clown).

Of course.
posted by snofoam at 7:13 PM on June 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


*mouth hangs open for 5 minutes*

For some reason I have a very strong memory of (robot?) monks in black robes gliding silently around, possibly even with fire on their heads. Canticle for Liebowitz?
posted by DU at 7:14 PM on June 17, 2009


And you said Segways were just ostentatious toys for the lazy rich.
posted by dirty lies at 7:14 PM on June 17, 2009


It is trombones that are ostentatious toys for people who blow.
posted by dirty lies at 7:15 PM on June 17, 2009


Jaunty, melancholy and terrifying all at once. Love it.
posted by maudlin at 7:18 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, if this turns out to be viral marketing for some mobile phone company, I will be super pissed.
posted by snofoam at 7:19 PM on June 17, 2009


I'm uncultured. Are other Glass compositions like this? What is this style of music called? Where can I find more?
posted by SemiSophos at 7:19 PM on June 17, 2009


Needs more yakety sax.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 7:20 PM on June 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


Are other Glass compositions like this?

Philip Glass on Sesame Street, Geometry of Colors.

To this day I'm horrified by Euclidean geometry.
posted by geoff. at 7:23 PM on June 17, 2009 [11 favorites]


SemiSophos, try The Glass Engine. (Previously). If it doesn't work for you, you'll need Java.
posted by maudlin at 7:24 PM on June 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


For a while now I've been looking for THE SINGLE GREATEST THING EVER. Thanks geoff.
posted by mhjb at 7:28 PM on June 17, 2009


For some reason I have a very strong memory of (robot?) monks in black robes gliding silently around

:/
posted by furious at 7:31 PM on June 17, 2009


Philip Glass on Sesame Street, Geometry of Colors.

Holy crap. No wonder so many of my generation grew up to enjoy listening to repetitive music on hallucinogenic drugs.
posted by DecemberBoy at 7:34 PM on June 17, 2009


Reminds me of Jarra from MIB II
posted by Wanderlust88 at 7:40 PM on June 17, 2009


Never really thought of Glass as something you could adapt to a marching band, but if you're going to you might as well set it on fire while you're at it. That was amazing.
posted by doctor_negative at 7:43 PM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Those aren't real monks. I can tell. Real monks play Akhnaten.
posted by netbros at 7:50 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


No.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:01 PM on June 17, 2009


Doesn't seem right... maybe if it were shot time lapse over the course of a few days.
posted by phrontist at 8:02 PM on June 17, 2009


Damn this is just so awesome. Thank you so much for posting this. Are other Glass compositions like this? Different instrumentation, no funky percussion, but yeah. The style is called "minimalism", though no one, least of all glass, self-identifies with this genre.
posted by phrontist at 8:05 PM on June 17, 2009


This gives me hope.
posted by Xoebe at 8:06 PM on June 17, 2009


The beat is a little slow, but I'm going to go ahead and give them a 9 1/2 for use of banjo.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:11 PM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yes! Yes! YES!
posted by ocherdraco at 8:12 PM on June 17, 2009


This is so much better than cops on Segways at O'Hare.

Did we mention the banjo? The banjo just makes it.

(On Preview) Yes, we mentioned banjos. Carry on.
posted by eriko at 8:14 PM on June 17, 2009


Jesus son of a shit that's awesome.
posted by spiderskull at 8:17 PM on June 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


As advertised. Speaking of Segways, did you hear about the guy in Brooklyn who impersonated his dead mother and collected more than $100,000 in benefits over a six year period?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:20 PM on June 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


SemiSophos, you might check out the movie Mishima, which had a score by Philip Glass. The entire movie has a strange, hallucinogenic quality—and the score certainly contributes to its feeling.
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:33 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


That made my night. (I was eating ice cream while watching it, too.) If there had been a Swedish airline hostess here serving grilled cheese I think my spirit would have left my body.
posted by maxwelton at 9:03 PM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


THIS IS DEBILITATINGLY EPIC.
posted by spiderskull at 9:17 PM on June 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm going to go ahead and give them a 9 1/2 for use of banjo.

I'm going to go ahead and give them several hundred million billion googleplex points out of 10.
posted by spiderskull at 9:24 PM on June 17, 2009


What if the fire coming from their heads was their souls aether flaring off like so much natural gas from an oilstrike and the Segways were in fact connected by huge rods to the center of the earth where a thousand armed creature was manipulating the rods, and the robes covered black and brown and yellow vortices through which different aspects of reality could be perceived, but we weren't ready to See Them so they had to remain robed and the instruments were powered by the puffing not of the monks but of the vaccum generated by the soul gas emenation and the small exhalations of the thousandarmed creature with her multiple mouths?
posted by lalochezia at 9:29 PM on June 17, 2009 [10 favorites]


Awesomeness. That's what.
posted by katillathehun at 9:36 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, I have never debated so little with myself before clicking a link. I just knew. This is a thing I wanted to see.

That was terrifically awesome.
posted by Super Hans at 9:36 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thus concludes this chapter of the internet. Take five, everybody. We'll start storyboarding the next chapter tomorrow.
posted by shadytrees at 9:50 PM on June 17, 2009 [6 favorites]


This is awesome. Every marching/rolling band should have banjos and crazy brass instruments.

In fact this is Dr Seuss come to life, rolling right out of the page.
posted by eye of newt at 9:56 PM on June 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Reminded me of the menacing Santas in two Doctor Who Christmas specials ....

and, uh, the Flaming Carrot. Ut!
posted by dhartung at 10:12 PM on June 17, 2009


What if the fire coming from their heads was...

Well, I think it's pretty obvious that that's exactly how they did it, duh.
posted by Ritchie at 10:16 PM on June 17, 2009


Metafilter: jaunty, melancholy and terrifying all at once.
posted by oozy rat in a sanitary zoo at 10:19 PM on June 17, 2009


Growing up as a little boy, I always imagined that Europeans were all like this.
posted by blahblah at 10:29 PM on June 17, 2009 [7 favorites]


definitely the best use of a Segway since Gob
posted by slickvaguely at 10:44 PM on June 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just beautiful.
posted by mediareport at 10:50 PM on June 17, 2009


There's no better prescription to cure the symptoms of existential ennui than seeing something like that right there. As you catch your breath, you realize that, no, you haven't quite seen all this little planetful of people has to show you, yet. Not by a long shot.
posted by darkstar at 11:15 PM on June 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


I love people.
posted by Jeff_Larson at 11:52 PM on June 17, 2009


How are they steering the Segways without using their arms?
posted by memebake at 12:57 AM on June 18, 2009


Start the Sesame Street clip and then open the Beastmaster clip in a window in front of it with the sound off. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
posted by undecided at 1:16 AM on June 18, 2009


Is it Burning Man time already?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 2:22 AM on June 18, 2009


So this is hereby elected "The one video clip to represent the entire country of France."

Now to figure out what to assign to all of the other countries.

Sorry, UK, you're already stuck with cheese rolling.
posted by mmoncur at 2:32 AM on June 18, 2009


Thanks for explaining, with this clip, why the internet was invented.
posted by Megami at 2:32 AM on June 18, 2009


the banjo really adds that homey twinkle.
posted by nj_subgenius at 2:42 AM on June 18, 2009


Screw the internet, this is why monks were invented. And segways, probably.
posted by spiderskull at 2:49 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is this the official "10th" meetup costume?
posted by maxwelton at 3:02 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Glad to see this, since Segways usually just make me sad.

Once, I almost had a job in the Segway industry. This was after college, when I had a brand spanking new English degree and an clean, empty resume. I was living at home with my parents. Desperate for work, I responded to a listing in Craigslist for a company offering Segway tours of the downtown area. Better yet, the company was two blocks away from my parent's house, so I could walk to work.

My father helped me with the interview prep. I prepared a list of strategic questions about the industry - where do you see it in a few years? Is there room for personal growth? I then dressed up in an oversized suit and tie and walked to the house of the company's owner.

Turns out it was a joint venture between him and his wife, who had recently left him. I would be taking the place of his wife, working in his basement as a coordinator of Segway tours. I asked him: "Where do you see the industry going in a few years?" and his answer, immediately, was "To be honest, this is just a fad, and will probably dry up by next summer." I looked around the room at all the posters of smiling tourists on Segways, next to all the pictures of his wife and daughter (both moved out) that crawled along the walls of his living room.

After that I decided against the position and got a temp job changing slurry codes for Andy Capp's cheddar fries. Now I can't even look at a Slim Jim and every time I see a Segway I am reminded of broken dreams and broken homes.
posted by mammary16 at 3:27 AM on June 18, 2009 [11 favorites]


I really think this may be the finest performance of its kind that I have ever seen.
posted by Phanx at 3:47 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


15 months? Really, internet?
posted by acro at 4:49 AM on June 18, 2009


Their performance almost sounds more like Mr. Bungle than Philip Glass.
That makes it even more awesome, somehow.
posted by Jon-o at 4:50 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


i can't access youtube at work, but this will be the first thing i do when i boot up at home this afternoon. rolling banjo bands of burning monks? playing phillip glass? maybe i'll go home for lunch.
posted by msconduct at 5:19 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Monks? Cool.
On Segways? Interesting.
With fire on the top of their heads? Awesome.
Playing the works of Philip Glass? MetaFilter.
posted by Spatch at 5:21 AM on June 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


I understand monks playing Philip Glass. They have hobbies too. I can see the use of fire for them to see where they are going. They places are normally very spartan and don't have electricity. I can see the use of segways. It is an excellent way to jet around. BUT to add them altogether in a 5 minute youtube link is why Al Gore made the internet.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 5:56 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Steering a Segway hands-free between two trails of fire ought to count as some kind of absurdly slow-motion extreme sport.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:24 AM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


As soon as I can figure out how they laid down those fiery tracks, I am definitely setting fire to the streets around town on my bike.
posted by orme at 6:54 AM on June 18, 2009


Screw the internet, this is why monks were invented. And segways, probably.

And fire.
posted by The Bellman at 7:00 AM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


You had me at "Monks on Segways". The "with fire on the top of their heads" was the icing on the cake (which then melted due to the intense heat of the fire, but still, it was a damn good cake).
posted by educatedslacker at 7:29 AM on June 18, 2009


That's hot.
posted by PuppyCat at 7:42 AM on June 18, 2009


There are downsides to my usual method of reading mefi posts first and then clicking the link if the comments indicate it's worth doing so. Because I read the first couple of comments and then decided to click, and the video somehow wasn't at all what I was expecting. I was thinking it would be more active, somehow, more in your face. It took me a while to get into it, and I admit that for the first minute I was going "60 favorites, really?" But then it was like my brain let go of those preconceptions and I could enjoy it for what it was - subtle, melancholy, whimsical. And it is great.
posted by marginaliana at 7:45 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


It took me a while to get into it, and I admit that for the first minute I was going "60 favorites, really?"

Cartman: No, see, this is the fundamental flaw with the check, check-plus, check-minus system!
posted by educatedslacker at 8:12 AM on June 18, 2009


I was waiting to see those robes burst into flames à la Andre the Giant in Princess Bride. Still pretty cool, though.
posted by scottatdrake at 9:19 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Was anybody else disappointed at first because they read the FPP as MONKEYS on Segways... Because I was.


But the disappointment was short-lived, because it was still kick-ass.
posted by nushustu at 9:42 AM on June 18, 2009


Here's a link to the artist page.

I don't see anything about being monks though.
posted by mazola at 10:07 AM on June 18, 2009


Concept and technical design by Ulik (the mechanical clown).

Ulik seems like an interesting guy.
posted by mazola at 10:25 AM on June 18, 2009


MetaFilter:Monks on Segways

No, seriously, this was just. Bizarre. In the just the right way.

Does anyone know where in France this event took place?
posted by aldus_manutius at 10:37 AM on June 18, 2009


this is definitely not what makes crop circles, its far too loud cazzanostra (9 hours ago)

This is an excellent YouTube comment.
posted by small_ruminant at 10:41 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


mazola: am I going to need a facebook account in order to see that link? Because I really don't want one, but I am interested in finding out more about the artist.
posted by idiopath at 10:42 AM on June 18, 2009


mazola: am I going to need a facebook account in order to see that link? Because I really don't want one, but I am interested in finding out more about the artist.

Whoops. Meant to link this.

It's just more YouTube schtick, but interesting in a street performer way.
posted by mazola at 11:09 AM on June 18, 2009


Here are Glissendo playing a Michael Nyman's "Chasing Sheep" in Monaco
posted by memebake at 11:47 AM on June 18, 2009


I don't comment often, more of a lurker, really, but thank you, geoff. and Metafilter.

This is, indeed, what the intertubes are for.
posted by essband at 3:43 PM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


i must admit, i fed the cats before i hit the link, but hit the link i did. beautiful concept, excellent execution, and i'm thinking i need to find me a bunch of segways for mardi gras next years. now i just need to learn to play the banjo.
posted by msconduct at 3:54 PM on June 18, 2009


This is so much better than cops on Segways at O'Hare.

It's even better than Chinese cops on Segways at the Olympics.

Actually, that gives me an idea: Segways mounted with flamethrowers.
posted by homunculus at 8:53 PM on June 18, 2009


I wasn't able to watch this until just now, but upon reading what it says on the can, I thought "This can only possibly be THE BEST THING EVER!"

I was not disappointed.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:55 AM on June 19, 2009




Was anybody else disappointed at first because they read the FPP as MONKEYS on Segways...


I copied and pasted this just for you, nushustu...
posted by orme at 4:28 AM on June 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Monks on Segways, with fires on top of their heads, playing Kashmir by Led Zeppelin. And Erik Satie's Gymnopedie #1, plus other stuff I don't recognize.

I wish I spoke french now.
posted by Elagabalus at 12:35 PM on June 19, 2009


For some reason I have a very strong memory of (robot?) monks in black robes gliding silently around, possibly even with fire on their heads.

:-) (Not exactly black robes and not exactly with their heads on fire, but try 2:30 or 4:50, and of course the whole thing is worth watching.)
posted by lorenzlm at 2:13 PM on June 21, 2009


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