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Stopping to hear the music...missedunderstood beauty?...

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by I Adore Vic, May 8, 2007.

  1. Hey all - what an amazing article/video. Amongst other things, the 'experiment' asks :

    Would you have stopped?

    Pearls Before Breakfast
    Can one of the nation's great musicians cut through the fog of a D.C. rush hour? Let's find out.

    By Gene Weingarten
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Sunday, April 8, 2007; Page W10

    HE EMERGED FROM THE METRO AT THE L'ENFANT PLAZA STATION AND POSITIONED HIMSELF AGAINST A WALL BESIDE A TRASH BASKET. By most measures, he was nondescript: a youngish white man in jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt and a Washington Nationals baseball cap. From a small case, he removed a violin. Placing the open case at his feet, he shrewdly threw in a few dollars and pocket change as seed money, swiveled it to face pedestrian traffic, and began to play............

    rest of article here:


    and his entire Metro station performance can be listened to here:

  2. Well, it's a bit of a "setup" regarding the passers by with money + taking time to stop and listen. Most of those people going past are usually on (stupid I know but it's the schedule they do) tight times with heading to work so they don't actually "have time" to miss by standing and listening to that or any other "common" street busker. Also I have noticed since having time off and being in petrol stations a lot more than usual due to being out on the bike _lots_ during the week that it seems most people do not carry notes + coins anymore. Out of everyone queuing in line in front of me to pay for their petrol + buying stuff, only a very small percentage ever pay by cash. Most if not all the "big wigs" in their *cough* expensive cars blah blah always seem to pay by card.

    So why it's crap that people can't stand and listen to "a world great" playing the pieces he did, it can be understandable because of the time they picked. If they chose either lunch or just during the day when people usually aren't rushing "to work", then I bet more people (and money) would be seen for that particular "event".

    Speaking of rushing, I gotta rush to physio now, can't give you any tips sorry rosie, but next time you sit down to play, I'll throw some coins and listen :) I personally have watched buskers, sometimes for hours. One time I saw _ONE OF THE BEST MUSICIANS_ I have ever seen (coming from a guy who has easily been to over 2000 music gigs/shows etc). And old busker sat in Geelong Mall a few years ago (I'd say 10) and had an acoustic with a pickup and a pedal to emulate a piano. He played a lot of pieces similar to what the said busker in the article played, it was BEAUTIFUL. It bought tears to my eyes and I sat mesmerised for easily over 6 hours. I asked why he didn't play professionally and the guy replied that he preferred playing like this, it was "more enjoyable" he said simply to me. Anyway, almost late, I'm gone!
  3. I don't care who he is, solo violin is plain dull to most people.
  4. +1 unless it's good old boy Yeee Haaar type fidle mixed with copious amounts of moon shine :p
  5. And someone blowin' on a jug:

    "Hoom, hoom, hoom, hoom"

  6. undii - I don't play! :) My 13yr old does though...and she's busked as well...when she was 8 :LOL: She made $140 in just over one hour....down the main street of a country town a few days before Xmas.. She did well considering she'd only been playing for a year. Only one member of the 'audience' stood there with their hands over their ears - but I gave said audience member a whack over the back of their head and told them not to insult their younger sister. :LOL:

    Good point Loz. And it's one the article fails to mention.. :wink:

    Personally I don't give a rats if it's solo or otherwise. If it's good, I'll hear it. If it's not so good, I'll smile and chuck a coin in their case anyway. :)

    We've all heard buskers playing their violin, but this guy's got the edge and surely that would stand out? Are people able to distinguish your 'typical violinist street performer' from 'genuis'? Did they hear that 'extra something' he had, and did it cut through their psyche as they headed off to work? Or was he just another busker?

    I would have stopped - I wouldn't have been able not to stop...if you get what I mean. :)

    undii - I actually think it was a perfect time to conduct this experiment. It was meant to determine whether beauty can transcend...the hustle and bustle of the daily grind of life. :) Are people able to forget about life for a short while just to enjoy a single moment? :)
  7. Back from physio..

    Well, it may mean the individual(s) are late for work (and to some, work IS life. I think otherwise but from experience, I've found out so many people LOVE work and it seems they can't talk about anything else :? )

    Anyway, I think it's bad timing personally. Do/did you ever catch a train to work? Seeing the amount of people running in between trains/stations/stops etc is staggering. And seeing the amount of people running to make a train that is already overcrowded is crazy and seeing them try to squeeze in. All because they "can't be 5 minutes late for work".

    I guess it doesn't occur to people to actually leave earlier so they have the luxury of being able to stop for "whatever" before work but the fact of life for lots is they time their commuting to work to be ON THE MINUTE for stops/changeovers etc. Crazy if you ask me. That's a good reason why I decided to ride to work when I did work and live 5 minutes walk from work when I did move closer. When I commuted to work by train, it was crazy seeing people squeezing in already overcrowded trains and the like.

    Anyway, all this talk about trains etc is making me sad ;) I'm going to go for a 1/2 hr ride to relax and get the "cobwebs" out of me for the day :grin: Seems I won't be able to get to ride for a few days, weather forecast doesn't look too good atm for here.
  8. It's easy for me to say, because I'm not rushing off to work...which is a bad thing at this moment. :( :LOL:

    But, honestly, if I ever reach a stage in my life where I cannot stop to recognise and enjoy the simple things in life...such as an unordinary busker...for even a few seconds....then I'd be taking a serious look at what went wrong.
  9. Joshua Bell's performance is totally absorbing... I love the sound of the violin; it is so uplifting, but at the same time haunting and melancholy. I adore the cello maybe even more than the violin.

    I have always considered myself the type that, whilst on their way to work, hurls their briefcase out the bus window and spends the day dancing in the rain :wink: So, yes, I would stop and listen. Like you, Rosie, I wouldn't be able to help myself.
  10. If he got mugged for his 12 bajillion dollar violin by some homeless alcoholic, that'd be kinda amusing.

    ... at least it's only a girl's instrument though :grin:

    OK, I'm done being deliberately antagonistic; however: I reckon choice of songs to play and overall performance would have more of a bearing on how much cash he makes.

    Assuming he's not actually recognised, he's going to make more money doing an Irish folk-tune with matching jig, than a boring classical piece written for 20 times as many instruments.

    ... I think anyway. As long as he's playing for the people that catch the train and not the ones that are chauffeured in their Rolls to work.
  11. They should repeat the experiment using a cappella singing, which is the only form of music scientifically proven to be absolutely irresistably fascinating to all people regardless of race, culture and socio-economic class. :grin:
  12. Yep totaly agree, do ya know any one who's any GOOD at it :p
  13. Who are under 14 or over 50, female, and tone deaf :music: :rofl: yay the boy band :dance: sorry Loz,all power to ya. Your up there givin it a go :grin:
  14. The only audience he'd get would be those too stupid to appreciate the finer things in life. We all know that any commuter with half a brain and good taste would be riding a motorcycle in... :LOL:
  15. Obviously there was more to this experiment than how much money he could make and, while he did OK in the cash department, the result as far as 'beauty transcending' was quite sad.

    As quoted in the article ~

    Oh, and I'd chuck you some coin, Loz :wink:
  16. i think that's the second time you've made me cry rosie :cry: (note to self - get box of tissues before opening rosie's next thread). i feel sad that life's so busy. i've become terribly conscious recently that i don't 'care' as much as i used to, i'm not as 'inspired' as i once was, i'm not touched by beauty to the degree that i used to be. but awareness is the first step to action and i've been consciously focusing on 'kindness to strangers' recently and yesterday i found myself giving money to a busker who was livening up a dull camberwell shopping strip. he was no joshua bell but he broke me out of my reverie of busy-ness and for that i was grateful. thanks for posting it. c x