A Bach prelude perfectly played on Boomwhackers is a visual masterpiece

2 February 2021, 14:56 | Updated: 3 February 2021, 16:05

Jugglers play Bach on Boomwhackers
Jugglers play Bach on Boomwhackers. Picture: Les Objets Volants/YouTube

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

Boomwhackers take on an enduring Baroque piano work, and it’s a thing of beauty…

It’s one of the beloved, enduring pieces in the classical canon.

And as you’d wish for any timeless work of art, it’s been given the modern-day treatment in a brilliantly offbeat way.

In the video below, five jugglers take on the Prelude No. 1 from J.S. Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier and perform it entirely on Boomwhackers.

Boomwhackers, for those of you unaware of this lesser-known member of the percussion family, were invented in 1995 by guitarist and now probable-millionaire, Craig Ramsell.

They are essentially hollow plastic tubes, which are often used to teach tempo, rhythm and pitch to schoolchildren. Colour-coded, the instruments are tuned to a pitch by their length, and they produce a soft, mellow sound when struck with the hand.

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As the jugglers hand the instruments from one to the other in a meticulously staged recital, they create the melody from Bach’s melodious piano prelude (watch above).

The performers, Jonathan Lardillier, Olli Vuorinen, Thomas Aknine, Malte Peter and Jonas Beauvais, are all jugglers with Les Objects Volants, a French group that mixes juggling with movement, theatre and comedy.

Read more: Giant handmade xylophone plays Bach in the depths of a serene Japanese forest >

Stood on a blacked-out stage, the five performers enact their piece with extraordinary discipline and concentration, the tempo surging as the artists push themselves to keep the melody going at an increasingly impressive pace.

Their spectacle, transcribed and staged by Denis Paumier, is met with rapturous applause from the audience.

As one very shrewd YouTuber coined it, you’ve got to hand it to these guys…