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Four cellists play Ravel's 'Bolero' on a single cello and it's one wild ride

One cello, four cellists and an amazing musical feat.

Some compositions are so ubiquitous they are recognizable in their first few bars, even by people who are not music aficionados. French composer Maurice Ravel's "Bolero" is one of those pieces, known for its relentless snare drum beat throughout, as it gradually builds tension from a sweet, simple tune to a grand, flourishing climax.

Ravel wrote the piece for a friend, a Russian ballet dancer, while on holiday shortly before touring North America in 1928. According to Classic FM, the composer was about to go for a swim when he called a friend over to the piano and played a simple theme with one finger, saying, "Don’t you think that has an insistent quality? I’m going to try to repeat it a number of times without any development, gradually increasing the orchestra as best I can.”

That he did, with tremendous success—and with the sacrifice of the poor percussionist charged with repeating the same 24-beat note pattern throughout the piece, for a whopping total of 5,144 drum strokes on the snare drum. While different instruments are introduced as the piece progresses, creating a buildup of sound that eventually incorporates the full symphony orchestra, the lone snare drummer never gets a break. They play the same rhythm over and over and over, just gradually increasing in volume.

But what would "Bolero" be without the signature snare drum? Or the orchestral buildup? What if someone were to play "Bolero" on just one instrument? What if several someones played it on the same instrument? Would that even work?


Such experimentation with well-known pieces can be risky. But four cellists managed to pull off an incredible feat by performing "Bolero" together on a single cello. While it's not the full 15-minute piece, it's doggone impressive how rich and full the piece feels on just this one instrument. Watching the cellists physically coordinate the playing of it is sheer entertainment, beautifully executed—and the little bullfight shoutout to the Spanish theme is just delightful.

Enjoy this fun performance by the Wiener Cello Ensemble 5 +1, shared by Classic FM:

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Democracy

Appalachian mom's speech on Kentucky's proposed abortion ban is a must-hear for everyone

Danielle Kirk is speaking up for those often overlooked in our cultural debates.

Canva, courtesy of Danielle Kirk

Appalachian mom gives passionate speech.

Many people felt a gut punch when the Supreme Court issued its decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the decades-old Roe v. Wade decision that protected a woman's right to an abortion. However, for some this was a call to action.

Danielle Kirk, 27, a mom of two and an activist on TikTok, used her voice in an attempt to educate the people that make decisions in her small town. Kirk lives in Kentucky where a trigger law came into effect immediately after Roe v. Wade was overturned. Being a former foster child, she knew she had to say something. Kirk spoke exclusively with Upworthy about why she decided to speak up.

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Memories of childhood get lodged in the brain, emerging when you least expect.

There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.

It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.

Nostalgia is fleeting and that's a good thing because it’s best not to live in the past. But it does remind us that the wonderful feeling of freedom, creativity and fun from our childhood can still be experienced as we age.

A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”

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