In 2007 a story in the Washington Post, “Pearls Before Breakfast,” really captured my attention. Grammy award winning artist Joshua Bell took part in a social experiment where he played the violin in the subway of Washington DC during a typical rush hour. Joshua wore a baseball cap and regular street clothes. The question was: would anyone actually stop to listen to a top musician take on a beautiful piece of music or would they just go on their way? The video of the experiment is still on line.
I worked with Joshua’s public relations team to secure an interview with him earlier this year. We talked about the famous subway story and brought it full circle. I think people will be interested in how it sits in his mind three years later. He really put it in a different context for me. It was a perfect story to put in the last chapter of the book.
Another topic we discussed involved Joshua describing the state of reflection he gets himself into as he prepares for big shows around the world. We discussed his early childhood and the influences in him that helped him to become so capable of “focusing.” He was engaging and very open to all the questions I posed to him; even as he made his way through customs as he was about to catch a flight to Greece for yet another performance.
I welcome all of Joshua’s fans from around the world who have seen his recent posting on Facebook and his announcement on his web site announcing his involvement in my book Consider. I am very thankful that he and I connected and that I was able to bring these stories to life. If you have not heard this man play, you are really missing something.