Buskers


MUSIC

Music brings to mind so many different images but here are some of the buskers I photographed yesterday at one of my favourite places, Granville Island, making music for the pleasure of the passersby.

Singing his heart out amongst the chaos which is the market norm


Outside on the lovely cool late Autumn day


A busker has a lot of equipment to cart around. This
one plays guitar and a variety of wooden flutes
to accompany his recorded South American music


The truth is that for many now the musical experience is about being
plugged into an iPod or in my case my iPod Touch
with speakers

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EVERYONE

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MUSIC

Granville Island, one of my favourite places in Vancouver, as regular readers of my blog know, is home to many buskers. I see this fellow there regularly.

I call him the Chanteur français because it seems he always sings in French and very often old Edith Piaf songs. He always wears a suit. This is a photo I sent to the Nos regards site, a photo blog in Belgium to which I sometimes contribute. The theme there was musique en fête and they had some wonderful photos submitted.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EVERYONE

MUSIC

Granville Island, one of my favourite places in Vancouver, as regular readers of my blog know, is home to many buskers. I see this fellow there regularly.

I call him the Chanteur français because it seems he always sings in French and very often old Edith Piaf songs. He always wears a suit. This is a photo I sent to the Nos regards site, a photo blog in Belgium to which I sometimes contribute. The theme there was musique en fête and they had some wonderful photos submitted.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EVERYONE
Serendipity is the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely.

Maybe I’m stretching the definition of this word here but I want to tell you about a person I discovered in a serendipitous way. On my post about the busker at Granville Island, I received an anonymous comment from a busker in NYC who left her URL which of course, being the curious person that I am, I followed.

There I found the blog (and later her website) of Natalia Paruz, commonly known as Saw Lady, musician extraordinaire, who regularly busks in New York City. She performs on her musical saw as part of the MUNY (Music under New York) program run by the MTA Arts for Transit program.

James Higham commented on my busker post: “There’s a lot of talent at rail stations behind the hat and the case.”

Nothing could be truer than that statement as applied to Saw Lady. Not only has she busked all over the world in New York, Paris, Prague, Rome, Florence and Tel Aviv, she has performed with leading symphony orchestras, appeared on TV, been featured in movies and on radio and made recordings with major recording studios.

I have spent an enjoyable amount of time exploring Natalia’s blog and her website. On her blog she tells stories of her life as a busker on the streets of New York and the people she meets there which have intrigued me so much that I have added her blog to my Bloglines feed. She also talks about busking in general. Here is part of what she says on the subject:

A lot of people feel sorry for buskers, thinking we perform on the street because we can’t get gigs elsewhere, but they’ve got it all wrong. We love the street. I have played with orchestras in big concert halls such as Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. But the subway is my preferred venue.
I am part of an explosion in street performers around the world. Competition for a piece of sidewalk is greater than it has ever been. And performers are becoming increasingly sophisticated. So many buskers have a cell phone, a digital organizer, a web site and a travel agent.

One of the things that delights Saw Lady is the vast array of non monetary offerings which are cast into her donations box, currently a gold painted plastic bucket with fake diamonds glued to it. She has a special list of these items which have included roses, a Teddy bear, a new Seiko watch and also a new Swiss army watch, packages of cat food, an origami swan. But one of her most treasured items was a poem written on gold and orange paper which is reproduced below.

Amazing How/Pat Christiano

Amazing how at noon
you’re there
among a hundred
bikes and cars and buses,
tractors, trucks and taxis
and a lone arthritic horse,
among children, men and women,
the hundred million
who must live
in this immediate city.
Amazing how at noon,
in the midst of all this traffic,
human and inhuman,
suddenly there is nothing
and no one but you.

© 2000, Pat Christian

I have given you but a taste of this fascinating young woman and I urge you to explore her blog and website for yourselves. I found that I spent an inordinate amount of time there and have returned again and again with much enjoyment. In fact, thanks to Natalia, I have learned more about the talented group of buskers who add so much to life in the wonderful city of New York.

The photo of Natalia is from her blog and was taken by Cisco Gamez.


Serendipity is the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely.

Maybe I’m stretching the definition of this word here but I want to tell you about a person I discovered in a serendipitous way. On my post about the busker at Granville Island, I received an anonymous comment from a busker in NYC who left her URL which of course, being the curious person that I am, I followed.

There I found the blog (and later her website) of Natalia Paruz, commonly known as Saw Lady, musician extraordinaire, who regularly busks in New York City. She performs on her musical saw as part of the MUNY (Music under New York) program run by the MTA Arts for Transit program.

James Higham commented on my busker post: “There’s a lot of talent at rail stations behind the hat and the case.”

Nothing could be truer than that statement as applied to Saw Lady. Not only has she busked all over the world in New York, Paris, Prague, Rome, Florence and Tel Aviv, she has performed with leading symphony orchestras, appeared on TV, been featured in movies and on radio and made recordings with major recording studios.

I have spent an enjoyable amount of time exploring Natalia’s blog and her website. On her blog she tells stories of her life as a busker on the streets of New York and the people she meets there which have intrigued me so much that I have added her blog to my Bloglines feed. She also talks about busking in general. Here is part of what she says on the subject:

A lot of people feel sorry for buskers, thinking we perform on the street because we can’t get gigs elsewhere, but they’ve got it all wrong. We love the street. I have played with orchestras in big concert halls such as Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. But the subway is my preferred venue.
I am part of an explosion in street performers around the world. Competition for a piece of sidewalk is greater than it has ever been. And performers are becoming increasingly sophisticated. So many buskers have a cell phone, a digital organizer, a web site and a travel agent.

One of the things that delights Saw Lady is the vast array of non monetary offerings which are cast into her donations box, currently a gold painted plastic bucket with fake diamonds glued to it. She has a special list of these items which have included roses, a Teddy bear, a new Seiko watch and also a new Swiss army watch, packages of cat food, an origami swan. But one of her most treasured items was a poem written on gold and orange paper which is reproduced below.

Amazing How/Pat Christiano

Amazing how at noon
you’re there
among a hundred
bikes and cars and buses,
tractors, trucks and taxis
and a lone arthritic horse,
among children, men and women,
the hundred million
who must live
in this immediate city.
Amazing how at noon,
in the midst of all this traffic,
human and inhuman,
suddenly there is nothing
and no one but you.

© 2000, Pat Christian

I have given you but a taste of this fascinating young woman and I urge you to explore her blog and website for yourselves. I found that I spent an inordinate amount of time there and have returned again and again with much enjoyment. In fact, thanks to Natalia, I have learned more about the talented group of buskers who add so much to life in the wonderful city of New York.

The photo of Natalia is from her blog and was taken by Cisco Gamez.