It’s been an interesting couple of days of learning about the one and only, Bobby McFerrin.
Everyone knows Bobby by his world-wide hit, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, but few (myself included) know the depths of talent this gentleman happens to have.
Sunday afternoon I stumbled across a clip of Bobby captivating and educating an audience at the Wold Science Festival in 2009, during a panel entitled “Notes and Neurons”. The premise of the panel was intriguing to say the least, but in 3 minutes, Bobby had performed the following and left folks in awe at the natural progression and involvement affiliated herein:
So watch that clip, enjoy, and then realize that Bobby has some very unique perspectives towards music and his audiences. For instance, at the beginning of the panel, he treated folks to an improvisational piece in front of his live audience. “Captivating” would be the word that comes to mind:
Further, he is excited about including his audience in the musical performance as he maintains that people desperately WANT to be involved, and to contribute to a greater good. Neat perspective when considering that some of the folks who are at the top of the charts are simply looking for their next hit to carry them further into stardom.
In searching around for a few other McFerrin McNuggets (sorry for the joke) I located his bobbymcferrin.com site and further discovered that his most popular song was literally a fluke of insight at the last possible moment, and that it was never expected to be in his repertoire or on any album. Fascinatingly, it seems that he would rather “send it off to college” rather than rear it in his home and cradle it in his arms of talent (read the faq on his site about the being happy song to understand my reference better).
Finally, for those of you who might not have had much TV around the house in 1988: when Bobby & company produced the music video, I found it cool to look back and see who other than Robin Williams on screen with Bobby helping us to not worry and be happy. Take a look:
All in all, I’d say I have a deeper respect and admiration for this fellow, his joy, and his astonishing talent. Some day it would be fun to find him performing live, and to have the opportunity to experience him in his element rather than through the power of the internet.
Thanks for reading!
* The World Science Festival clips for Notes and Neurons can be found here: http://www.worldsciencefestival.com/video/notes-neurons-full (clip 1 = bobby improve intro, clip 4 = bobby pentatonic scale piece, and clip 5 = bobby and company improve encore).
* Another great experience with Bobby is here: