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Thursday, January 6, 2011

On Music and Russian Tunes, on the Ride Home

Street music on the subway
Photo by myself, somewhere underground.

I know what you're thinking. Oh no, not another subway-musician-performer-candid photo! Argh!!

Sorry, folks. Variety is tough to achieve in the wintertime. Also, I have noticed that more and more musicians are performing on the subways and platforms. Does anyone else feel the same?

It seems like every time I'm waiting for the train, someone is banging a drum or tooting a horn or playing an accordian. Yesterday, a violinist played in one station, with the sounds of a musical saw in the background. Then on the Q train, I ran into an cappella singing group moving from one car to the next.

It's really too bad. There are loads of talented, musical New Yorkers out there. The sheer number of them however has made the rest of us a little jaded. It is difficult to listen and appreciate with fresh ears.

The only bright spot was coming home late Wednesday night and hearing a man belt out arias, while he dragged a boom box behind him. His voice was very loud, much too loud for the commute home in a subway car.

The man lapsed into a Russian melody and was spontaneously joined by a random woman on the same train. Both belted out what must be a popular traditional Russian tune, to the delight of many a tired passenger. Their duet woke us up from our collective work-induced daze.

I would have taken photos but you really couldn't tell anything was going on, except that a couple people had their mouths wide open, while the rest of us smiled on.

Related posts: Sound the Pipes in Herald Square, The Jazzman, 34th Street and On Singing Groups and the Current Vibe.


Olivier said...

je sais pas comment cela se passe à NYC, mais sur Paris, pour jouer (legalement) dans le metro, il faut passer une audition, ce qui fait que les groupes sont meilleures, et puis cela met de l'ambiance dans la tristesse des transport en communs

Steffe said...

Can be a bit too much sometimes. We see a lot of Eastern Europeans playing on the streets and stations around Stockholm. And they aren't very good, just poor.

BERMAXO said...

A mi tambien me gusta la foto en la calle !espontanea!

Kitty said...

Hi Olivier
What a thought, to hold auditions! Hm!
I can imagine it might be a little like American Idol. Yikes.

Hi Steffe!
Ah. Yes, once in a while you'll come across someone really terrible, and it's sad to encounter. We are lucky that most people are passable performers.

Hi Bermaxo and welcome
thank you!

Cesc said...

The subway music, the subway sound...

Saw Lady said...

Hi Kitty - 'Saw Lady' here. You took a gorgeous photo of me playing at the Union Square subway station about a year ago, if you remember.
Anyway - just wanted to chime in the conversation and let Olivier and yourself know that there are auditions for playing in the subway, and they are much more difficult than 'America Has Got Talent' ('America Has Got Talent' has been courting subway musicians for years now. All of us keep refusing them, except for one who agreed to do the show (and she got to the last finals!). You can see the finals of the subway audition in the spring at Grand Central Station: http://www.subwaymusicblog.com/busking/music-under-new-york-auditions-2010/

Lily Hydrangea said...

I think the economy has brought out the creativity in many talented people as well. & if people are out of work, better they occupy their time making music. At least then, there is the possibility of making someone happy.
I like this photo very much.

Kitty said...

Ha Cesc

Hi Saw Lady (Natalia!)
I of course remember taking a photo of you. It's one of my favorite images because the interaction between you and the fellow listening to you, a long-time fan.

I have mentioned here previously that those musicians sponsored by the MTA (with a banner) have to audition. You are all absolute fixtures in the subway stations.

Thank you for the link!

Here's the link to my photo of Natalia.

Hi Lily
I agree with you. What a positive way to channel time and energy, which benefits people? It's not easy at all to walk around playing or singing all day. Any donations are hard earned.

Susan said...

Awesome work! enjoy the feeling when reading. thanks for sharing.

Pierre said...

Its funny to see that everywhere in the world there are singer in the surbub.
One week ago, i take the "metro" in Paris and I fell in admiration on a Russian Israeli singer who sang us songs of Jewish Christmas

I regretted not having a camera

That 's why i love your photo. I can feel what was your feeling during your travel.