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The Unexpected Joy of a Copenhagen Metro Commute (video)

Unexpected joy. It’s a subset of a feeling that many of us prize but haven’t quite defined. Programming our live events space during On Being‘s first year of independence, I’ve been thinking a good deal about how to create space for this elevated sensation. And I’m remembering back, thinking about all the wonderful flash mobs I’ve watched over and over, especially this very quiet scene on the Copenhagen Metro in 2012.
The Sjællands Symfoniorkester, aka the Copenhagen Phil, created a feeling of unexpected joy for the quiet commuters of Denmark (check out the woman’s expression at the 1:05 mark in the video) by playing Grieg’s “Peer Gynt.” But, how to capture the expressions and the fidelity of the sound? That’s where the brilliance of audio technicians from Radio Klassisk comes in:

“The Copenhagen Metro is very quiet and the recording you hear is where the train is standing still. That’s why the recording you hear is so clean and crisp — and the sound is actually surprisingly good in the Copenhagen metro. We did this deliberately because we feel that a good sound experience is vital when trying to portray the actual experience that day. Further to the main recording, when the train was standing still, the recordings from the cameras was, as far as possible, mixed into the sound.”

And for you audiophiles out there:

“I recorded the sound with XY Oktava MK-012 supercardioid microphones close to the soloists and a set of DPA 4060 omnidirectional microphones as overhead for the rest of the orchestra. For some of the closeup shots, the camera mikes (Sennheiser ME 66) was added.”

Perhaps you could help me think along on what it means to create these experiences of unexpected joy. What might we do to give back to you and the larger community?

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