musings of a subway performer and lifelong troubadour

The Subways

Added on by NYC Subway Girl.

Performing: in NYC subway system is not a placeholder to better things, performing underground transcends career ambition.  The act is the soundtrack to a continuous story played out in the eyes and ears of the thousands who pass by. Music underground transcends the musical taste of the listener, because it’s momentary, it either masks other underground sounds or is drowned out by screeching wheels, closing door chimes, public announcements on distorted speakers and the multiplied sounds of people moving about carrying, dragging noisy items. 

I change my playlist to what I see and hear.  At any moment a woman’s clicking heels, a man’s cane, a child’s stare, an old man’s gait-all act as catalysts to my performance. Like a conductor with an orchestra playing a score, I watch attentively conducting, watching an unfolding movie on a screen.

A major key sounds minor, a dance groove sounds bluesier, a note held shorter, longer, all changes at an instant, instant reaction cause and effect, and affect! And is so pleasurable to me.  This is not a concert, this is a musical installation that metamorphoses.  It’s upside down and inside out.  It’s not waiting for a response-it is the response.  It does not work the same with a sitting audience, it exists in the flow of commuter traffic and energy.  It’s improv, it’s jazz, it’s bebop, it’s free, nothing pleases me more.  No stage lights that blind, giving inhibitions a chance to hide, no your side, my side or the performance game, we’re all in this together.