This achievement makes it the most watched YouTube video ever. And it must surely make me one of the few people in the world with an internet connection who hasn’t seen it.
I will now rectify this gap in my cultural education by watching it. As I understand it, this won’t take long, so I’ll be back shortly.
That was fun – but I think once is enough.
In just seven short years, YouTube has made itself a major force in the musical world. And there are some people in the music industry who decry the website as yet another assault on musicians’ incomes and on the principles of copyright.
But I like YouTube: I see it as a leveling force. YouTube is a great way for musicians to get their music out into the world without having to negotiate their way around the traditional “gatekeepers.” In the field of contemporary classical music, the 20th century was, I believe, over-staffed by gatekeepers: people and institutions policing what was performed and heard, and trying to regulate what “counted” as new music. It pleases me to see the gates overthrown.
Just when Gangnam Style was moving past the 1 billion mark yesterday, another YouTube video hit a more modest milestone. My Sekar Suling – played by Toronto’s Evergreen Club Contemporary Gamelan and featuring Andrew Timar on suling – was watched by its 1000th viewer.
That may not sound like a lot – but it’s about 20 times as many people as were in the room when the piece was premiered at Toronto’s Music Gallery a few years ago. And, presumably, those 1,000 hits didn’t all come from Toronto, or Canada, but from around the world. Perhaps it’s even been seen and heard in Indonesia. (I wonder what Indonesians might think of it – a piece written for “their” instruments, yet so clearly Western in its structure?)
So I say thank you, YouTube – just for being you. And here’s my video (below).
© Colin Eatock 2012