E Pluribus Memorexus: Inaugural Committee Admits that the Original Classical Piece Was Taped Not Live

milli_vanillin_yoyoma_090120_1300w220px-ashley_simpson_2008The truth is out. The inaugural classical piece by Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman, pianist Gabriella Montero and clarinetist Anthony McGill was made to look live but was not. The music that America heard was a tape of a performance of “Air and Simple Gifts” by John Williams done days earlier. This version of a classical lip sync puts Ma and Perlman in the same category as Milli Vanilli and Ashlee Simpson.

The word is that the musicians decided that the cold weather would make it difficult to keep their instruments in tone.

Perlman insists “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.” Finally, Milli Vanilli is vindicated.

Of course, the the Marine Band, the youth choruses and the Navy Band Sea Chanters performed live. Aretha Franklin sang live but the music and voices were . . . you guessed it, taped.

It was interesting to watch Ma nodding at various people during the performance. It now turns out that he could have taken out his cellphone and taken some pictures without an interruption in the music.

Well at least we know it was really Obama and Roberts authentically messing up the oath.

For a tape of the lip sinc, click here.

For the full story, click here.

26 thoughts on “E Pluribus Memorexus: Inaugural Committee Admits that the Original Classical Piece Was Taped Not Live”

  1. People should have known that it wouldn’t be live in that temperature, in my opinion. I don’t think anyone has a reason to complain about not being properly notified that they would be listening to a recording. Some might say, “Well, some people came to hear them play live!” But, even in that case, they would likely have still been present at the ceremony despite a notice just before the performance that it was taped. I don’t know anyone would would have gotten up and left the middle of Mall saying, “We don’t want to hear Yo Yo Ma over a speaker unless we know that he’s playing half a mile from me right now! Screw this ceremony, I’m leaving!”
    I think they get the impossibility defense, so go ahead and sue!

  2. I don’t object to taped music, only to not telling the audience about it. When we see a magician, a play or a movie, we know it isn’t “real” from the start, yet we are still captivated and moved by the performance. It’s O.K. to have faith in the people of this nation to understand about the instruments–just explain the situation and use the tape. In general I wish politicians would have enough faith to explain the facts to our population and bring people on board with rational policies. It takes a strong person to lay out the case for many of the things we must do in this country, stop the “war on drugs” for one, pull our chesnuts out of the economic fire for another. No bullshit, just, look, we need to do this and here’s why. This is a small matter, but it was handled without showing faith in the people– that they could learn the facts and would understand the situation.


    In general most poetry reading should be taped to allow FF!

  3. Mespo,

    Honest to goodness, I was agreeing with what you said above about preferring the taped performance, and for the same reasons. The Oscar Wilde quote is perfect, and especially for this conversation about music. It reminds me of the music Richard Strauss wrote to his play Salome.

  4. LindyLou:

    I’m with you.

    “No object is so beautiful that, under certain conditions, it will not look ugly.”

    -Oscar Wilde

  5. swg63:

    “Why worry about this,when there are bigger issues in the United States?”


    There always are “bigger” issues. Should we just forget about the little ones? In fact, I suppose my personal issues are smaller than this. Maybe I should forget about them too. “Bigness” like beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  6. The music was beautiful, and I’m glad to have heard it as it was meant to be. Even the taped music was done especially for the occasion but under more controlled conditions. The article says

    “They were very insistent on playing live until it became clear that it would be too cold,” said Florman in a telephone interview Thursday night.

    The temperature hovered around 30 for the ceremony on the Capitol steps, too cold for McGill’s clarinet, Ma’s cello or Perlman’s violin to offer true pitch. But the cold played havoc with the piano, which can’t hold tune below 55 degrees for more than two hours, Florman said.”

    –Given those conditions, I’d rather hear beautiful semi-authentic music than purely authentic music that sucks because no one can stay in tune.

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