Monday, December 07, 2009

At the Intersection of Dresden Row and Spring Garden

Today, as I was leaving school, I heard some familiar strains of music. Turns out there was a dude down the street playing Sinfonia to Cantata no.29 - a Bach piece that I quite enjoy - on the violin. I had brought some change (originally with some vague intent to maybe get coffee), so I tossed a dollar into his violin case. You'll see different street musicians playing a lot of things, and just now it gives me pause. Consider, for a moment, the matter of choosing a song at an open mic night (something I have had a say in this year). If you're doing a cover, you can pick something that everyone is likely to know, but which they will probably have heard many times before at other open mics and coffee houses. Alternatively, you can choose something more obscure, something older, something with a little more character than the top 40. You'll lose relevance and a certain amount of your connection to the audience at large, but you might make a select few people very happy. There must be a similar choice for those involved in street music: play something popular, or play something interesting (in the past these would not have been so separate, but today...)? I tend to be a fan of the latter, of course, but then it is probably more important to get the audience at large on your side than to pursue your own personal artistic satisfaction. I suppose playing Bach does let you dodge a bullet in some ways, because it's well-known music with integrity...but how many people stop in their tracks when they hear it anymore? I hope it's 'enough'.


No comments:

Some Rights Reserved

Creative Commons License
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.