Friday, January 23, 2009

The inauguration borrowed a trick from the Beijing Olympics

Ah, what could be better than to gather a million or so people in one place to listen to tapes? Okay, admittedly, the music at the inauguration wasn't the main focus, but it's still a little cheesy that Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Gabriella Montero and Anthony McGill were sort-of miming.

Not quite miming, as they played along with the tape, but their instruments weren't amplified. Which makes the official explanation - fears that the cold weather would damage the instruments - seem a little confusing.

Violinist Itzhak Perlman said "it would have been a disaster if we had done it any other way".

"This occasion's got to be perfect. You can't have any slip-ups," he told the New York Times.

Ah, yes. Perfect. Except in the actually playing sense of the word, then.

As it turns out, they might have been better off letting the musicians play live and pre-recording the words of the oath of office.