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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Soundscape: Flash Mob Performances (Part 1)

Human sound making is one activity that can temporarily change the character of an acoustic space.  A flash mob is a group of people who are quickly assembled in a public place to perform for a brief time and then disperse. Such gatherings are most often organized through social media such as Twitter, Facebook, e-mail, or other networking technologies. The purpose of such mobs varies and can range from publicity to social protest. Many are organized for entertainment. Most flash mobs meet well before their events to rehearse often complex dance and musical routines. These are then quickly performed and then the participants just as quickly disperse. 

The following are examples of flash mobs from around the world and how they function within the soundscape be that a shopping mall, train station, public plaza, or other space that facilitates an acoustical event.

Beirut Airport (3:04) A flash mob performs in the Duty Free Departures Lounge.
Berlin Train Station (4:21) The Staatsballett of Berlin perform before amused travelers promoting an up-coming ballet. 
Bondi Beach (5:05) This mob seems to spring from the ocean sands in dance and song. 
Jeddah Mall (2:48) A Red Sea Mall flash mob celebrates Saudi National Day with poetry and the singing of the national anthem.
Melbourne Campus (3:32) An Indian themes flash mob at La Trobe University surprises folks in this outdoor event.
Moscow Mall  (3:55) Shoppers at a popular Moscow mall are treated to an unexpected Orthodox choral song sung by a flash mob. 
Nairobi Street (2:49) A joint flash mob event between Nairobi Kenya and Eindhoven Netherlands promotes an AIDS awareness campaign. 
Philadelphia Train Station (3:52) The Opera Company of Philadelphia performs a "flash opera" with 30 participants. 
Port Elizabeth Mall (5:33) The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University choir delights unsuspecting shoppers. 
Santiago Plaza (5:47) The plaza is a setting for this performance that begins with a costumed couple that is then joined by others in this traditional dance. 

Tbilisi Bus (3:45) A Georgian flash mob prepares their performance and then boards a bus to surprise fellow passengers. 
Valencia Mall (6:31) Opera is performed to the surprise of shoppers in the large Mercado Central de Valencia.

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