Digital Witchery

It is time for me to share with the select few of you who will read this a small and amusing secret that 3.5 million people don’t realize.

The secret is: the owner of this YouTube channel somehow found a picture of me playing inside an art project in San Francisco in 2010 and posted it as a still image for the music of a famous bansuri player.  In other words: millions of people are digging this great Indian classical music whilst seeing my picture, with a bunch of my Oregonian and Japanese bamboo flutes, and 99% of the time, they are thinking that they are seeing and hearing the same thing–or at least the same performer.  Or flute type.  Or style of music.  Or country-of-origin of music.  Or any variety of things, including being convinced for minutes at a time that I am actually playing, that this is a video of me, and that I am SO FRIGGIN STILL WHILE PLAYING that they just can’t believe it.

Indeed, I can confirm: they should not believe it.  Multiple millions of flute fans are being hoodwinked.

I think this whole thing is pretty funny, and an example of a circumstance that a person of even 25 years ago could never have found themselves in.  I’m not sure there is any valuable lesson to be learned here, per se, but it seems, somehow, notable.

The owner of the channel is clearly on YouTube to make money with all the ads and “monetizing” that goes on during his or her many many videos of other people’s music (with other people’s’s pictures), all generating many many views.  I guess I am flattered that someone with such a clever business schema has chosen an image of me and my flutes (and Colin my coyote skull, and my Bourbon County Stout) to help peddle their–borrowed?–wares.

I have sent them a message (about a year ago) simply to request that my name and website be included in the video description, but, alas, I have not yet heard back.  Anyways, the description is already very full of other keywords that will be more helpful to the schema than the name of little ole me.  There are a few people–myself among them–who have gone into the tar pit of the comments section in order to clarify this digital witchery, and point out that what they hear and what they see have almost nothing to do with each other…or do they?

Perhaps we are all just playing one big giant universal cosmic flute, and all our videos, photos, soundtracks and ads and views and comments and clicks are all just

ONE.