Last week I had a very interesting experience. A friend had sent me a link to a marketing project from Mirvish Productions in Toronto. They were looking for 100 guitarists to go to Mirvish Theatre and play the song “Falling Slowly” from the musical “Once”. We both signed up.
When we got our confirmation e-mail they indicated that about 500 guitarists had signed up.
Three of us headed into Toronto on the appointed day and, from the moment that we parked, I had a feeling that this was going to be something special. Almost everyone in the parking lot was unloading a guitar and as we walked around the block to the entrance it seemed that every other person was carrying a guitar.
We joined the line outside of the theatre and before long we were inside collecting the promised pairs of tickets to the actual show. The event seemed very well organized, with people directing traffic at regular intervals.
We were assigned our seats and marveled at the variety of both people and guitars that had come out. Of course there were some there that were hoping to get “discovered” and others who ducked every time a camera went past – because the excuse they gave at work didn’t involve playing guitar. Some were experienced players and others were fairly new to the instrument and even a bit nervous despite the relative anonymity of playing in such a large group. We also ran into 4 other guitarists from our little town of Uxbridge – turns out there were others there too.
A number of the cast came on stage and gave us some instruction as to how the song would go and then we played three “takes”. I was pleasantly surprised by how good it sounded! They announced that the three takes were sufficient and within half an hour of starting, we were enjoying lunch at Fran’s Restaurant.
Here is the resulting video:
And here is CTV’s coverage:
At the end of it all, they announced that 926 guitarists had taken part! Certainly the largest group I’ve ever played in – and the tickets they gave us were pretty decent too.
And now I can say “I was there.”