Friday, January 23, 2009

Inauguration Piece by John Williams Was Prerecorded

The musical piece composed by John Williams for Obama's inauguration ceremony and played by Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Gabriela Montero, and Anthony McGill, was prerecorded. What people heard at home or who were watching on the mall was a tape recorded two days earlier.

The inauguration organizing committee said it was necessary because of weather conditions. NBC was told that this was likely, but apparently not told that it was actually done until after. The Marine Band and choruses were not prerecorded.

I have less of a problem with the prerecording then not telling people. Any musicians out there can weight in, but if some of the best people on their instruments are afraid the weather will change the sound or risk a catastrophic malfunction, I am inclined to believe them.

It also changes the perspective on what happened. Instead of watching Obama be sworn in at the correct time (meaning noon), we were listening to a tape. At least it was a nice tune.

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