Last Thursday, Google’s Les Paul doodle had quite an impact on musicians the web over and some pretty cool musical pieces got recorded and posted online — some of them quickly broke 50,000 views and the majority have more than 1,000. An original tune has over 90,000 views; also, check out a Billie Jean rendition with three parts. Google makes some neat doodles, and several have been interactive — Pacman last May did pretty well, getting worldwide attention — but I feel that there was something special about this particular day.
The virtual six-string didn’t have a goal (as Pacman may have), yet it quickly sparked mass-viewed recordings — an actual recording button as part of the doodle may have had something to do with that; however, overall, it seems that some people really took to the creative opportunity that presented itself Thursday morning.
Recorded on a real Les Paul guitar in the Google studios, I must admit the notes sounded pretty delicious; musicians from all over the world were just waiting at the sidelines, it seems.
The doodle went up, and usually they are nothing special, but it seemed that this time around people really took to the challenge, and potentially changed their days in order to take part in a creative activity. And not only did people just do this alone at home, they also felt the need to share their creative creations; I felt that this showed a tendency toward creativity that is often left unexpressed in our society, let alone expressed in such a collective and spontaneous manner. Usually Youtube is rampant with negative comments and trash videos of random things, but these videos — uploaded just that day — had some deeper meaning and very quickly garnered mass attention and all positive comments. The doodle itself was only as significant as any other, really, but the response of people, the sharing and the spirit that it generated was surprising to me, and heart-warming in a way. It seemed that the musical public was hungry for a way to connect, show-off and share a common experience. The concept created some fun and the videos spread like wildfire, which I found pretty interesting.
Perhaps we need this kind of open-ended invitation on a daily basis, one that challenges us to see what our best is, while sharing the experience with others for the sake of fun but also ‘passing it on’. The sweet sound of the six-string got brought back for an encore the day after by popular demand; finding fun yet meaningful interaction such as this would ideally be possible in a lot of realms, yet music is definitely the ubiquitous one. Les Paul would surely be pleased with his birthday celebrations.
All images: Flickr