Saturday, June 21st, 2008
Dancing Video: Where the Hell is Matt?
My daughter and I had some fun watching this video today. Watch it together once, then dance it together. On the first run I recited the country names out loud and watched my 4-year-old get excited at each location she found familiar.
Matt took 14 months, visited 42 countries and attracted a cast of thousands.
A brief explanation and additional video links follow the video.
Try pausing it for a while if buffering makes it jerky. The tiny four arrows icon in the lower right of the video will switch to full-screen mode (hit ESC to return). Also view this video in larger high definition at Vimeo, or in fast low-quality at Youtube.
Matt, a self-described 31-year-old "deadbeat," quit his job making and playing video games in 2003 and began traveling the world. In Hanoi, his friend recorded Matt doing a silly jig and later put the video clip online. He started his website to help family members keep up with where he was in the world.
As they say, the Internet found Matt. The makers of Stride Gum (warning: sound alert) also found Matt and asked him to travel the world to make another video.
Matt writes that Stride Gum actually said, "We like what you’re doing. We want to help you. We don’t want to mess with you."
In 2005, Matt visited 39 countries over 7 months to dance his jig. In 2006 he traveled again. And in 2007/8, again, this time bigger than ever.
The song in the video is Praan (meaning "Life") by Garry Schyman. It was sung by Palbasha Siddique a high school junior from Minneapolis, Minnesota and is available as a 99 cent DRM-free MP3. The lyrics are from Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore’s poem Stream of Life:
"The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures. It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers. It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth and of death, in ebb and in flow. I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life. And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood this moment."