The YouTube video that changed my Friday night

Every once in a while the internet yields the greatest discoveries.

I mean, yes, OK Go is definitely one of those, but this time I’m talking even more music hipster. In fact, what I am about to show you falls into a class of music hipsterdom all unto itself.

That’s right…it’s a tuba solo.

You may be wondering how I even found this? Well, a few weeks ago, I was having dinner with some friends (all musically inclined) and we were discussing our favorite and least favorite instruments and one of them declared tuba “the ugliest sounding instrument ever.” Now, I’m not about to point fingers, but I will give him some credit—I remember a brief period when my little brother was in middle school band and played the baritone and all we heard during his practices was (in my father’s words) “the sounds of an elephant in gastric distress.” Secondly, in defense of my friend, he plays the cello, which, while it sounds ugly during the learning process is easily one of the most rich and beautiful instruments ever when played well (see anything Yo Yo Ma has ever touched ever).

Anyway, in a moment of cheek, one of my other friends got up and googled tuba solos and found the gem linked above. And while we started sitting down, listening and giggling slightly at the very concept of tuba solos (we are so unkind…tuba players deserve solos too!) we eventually all gravitated to the computer to watch this extraordinary performance. I’ll give this guy one thing: he is easily one of the most magnificently expressive players I’ve ever seen. I also love that he doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously. I cannot imagine how technically challenging this piece must be—the breath control alone is unbelievable. And I have to say, although I initially found the whole thing ridiculously absurd, I have started to fall in love with it in a weird way…there is something perversely magical about it. Plus the moment when the conductor has to yell at him to get back on stage is just hilarious.

What do you reckon? Ugliest instrument ever or most misunderstood?