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Gil Shaham Releases 'Music to Drive Away Loiterers' on April 1

Laurie Niles

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Published: March 31, 2014 at 10:26 PM [UTC]

Around the world, local governments and business owners have turned to classical music to keep loiterers at bay. “Whether it’s Handel piped into New York’s Port Authority or Tchaikovsky at a public library in London, the sound of classical music is apparently so repellent to teenagers that it sends them scurrying away like frightened mice,” said the Los Angeles Times. When violinist Gil Shaham heard the news, he combed the catalog of his recording label, Canary Classics, to create Music to Drive Away Loiterers, a virtuoso violin compilation that would scare off even most violinists (as soon as they saw the sheet music), for release April 1.


"As a violinist dedicated to his art, I have always looked for ways to help the Greater Good," Gil said. "When I heard that classical music was being used to drive loiterers away, I knew I had finally found my calling. I hope people enjoy this album...or not. Whatever."

No kidding, you can actually buy this on Amazon or on iTunes!

The question remains, can Gil Shaham truly drive away anybody with his playing? Consider the play list: Bizet (arr. Sarasate): Introduction from Carmen Fantasy, Op. 25; Fauré: Sicilienne Op.78; Fileuse Op. 80. No. 2 from Pelléas et Mélisande; Mendelssohn: Octet in E-flat, Op. 20: iii. Scherzo; Mozart: Sonata in E-flat, K. 302: ii Rondeau; Prokofiev (trans. Heifetz): March from Love for Three Oranges; Prokofiev: Andante from Five Melodies, Op. 35; Chen/He: Theme from Butterfly Lovers Concerto; Sarasate: Navarra for 2 violins, Op. 33; Edwards: Chorale from Maninyas; Sibelius: 3rd movement from Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47; Williams: “Remembrances” from Schindler’s List; Bloch: “Nigun” from Baal Shem; Dorman: Scherzo from Nigunim (Violin Sonata No.3); and Sarasate: Zapateado Op.23 No.2.

Will people respond to violin music the way they do to Rick Astley and run away? Might it all backfire and actually attract appreciative listeners? Or is this all a big joke?

From Kenny Choy
Posted on April 1, 2014 at 11:06 AM
Do not purchase the album from iTunes yet, until they fix it.

Track 2 and 3 are the same.

From Peter Williamson
Posted on April 1, 2014 at 7:52 PM
This seems like a pretty inocuous playlist for 'driving away loiterers' - except possibly other violinists who might find some of it rather intimidating. Perhaps Mr Shaham is not entirely serious.... If I were looking for 'classical' music to drive folk away I'd suggest the Elliot Carter quartets, or Maxwell Davies 'Worldes Blis' (which emptied the hall of a presumably sympathetic audience at its first performance). If that didn't do the trick I'd throw in The Miraculous Mandarin and maybe the Grosse Fuge for good measure. After that lot you could be reasonably certain that only serious 'classical' music lovers would survive.

Whether this would be any more or less effective than the ghastly 'pop' music which is played in some supermarkets these days is debatable - it certainly makes sure I do not loiter. (This is not a general judgement on pop music - some of which is definitely not ghastly).

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