I don’t know if any of you have been following the New York Philharmonic’s trip to North Korea, but I have been inspired by this little ray of peace and hope. Nay sayers (and there are plenty of them), see this only as a public relations ploy by North Korea’s President, Kim Jong Il. While I was running errands yesterday afternoon I caught WNYC’s show, Soundcheck (the best thing about driving around town on my endless loop of kids, errands, etc. is getting to listen to the Public Radio station on XM Radio – see my side bar on What I’m Listening To) and I was very moved by John Schaefer’s report from the concert. Devoid of politics during the moments they made their beautiful music, all I heard was beauty and the stirring human connections that were made between the artists and their audience. It was a goose bump kind of story for me. I believe that kind of artistic connection makes a difference in this crazy world. Give the story a listen here and see what you think. For those of you who think I’ve gone a little woo-woo on this, John’s story is followed by the pundits doing their nay saying thing, so this story has something for everyone. Actually, what follows John’s man-on-street report, or in this case, man-in-the-orchestra-pit report, is an interesting discussion about what the Philharmonic’s role in this is, and does cultural diplomacy make a difference.
And guess who’s up next? Eric Clapton. Yep. He’s been invited by the North Korean government. Who knew Kim Jong Il had a hankering for the ol’ Slow Hand.