I'm inspired by a fun day performing at Columbus Circle yesterday, must have been Spring in the air. People danced, many smiled. I sang full out for almost 3 hours.
I love singing on the uptown 1 platform because I can actually see light from the outside and watch people coming in and out of the station. I can also perform for the commuters across the tracks waiting for the downtown trains. What that also means is I am completely at the mercy of the 2/3 uptown and downtown express trains and their rumble and screeching wheels. Of course doubly noisy if uptown and downtown trains pass at the same time. I work with it. I mark my time, pause my vocal and vamp through the chords. The game I play is to return to the point where I left off so listeners won't miss part of the song. It's the express train musical bridge!
A guitarist friend who also lives upstate stopped by and we chatted. He commented on how amazingly loud it was. I said it takes me a few minutes to Zen into the sounds and then I'm set for my 3 hour gig. Many people took pictures and stood close to listen. It was a big kid in stroller day and I love watching their reactions. Their societal filters aren't up yet. They move to it or they don't. My favorite is to watch how many times a child looks back when leaving, and then a perfect moment of joy when one spontaneously waves.
Why do I do it? Music and Art in public spaces is integral to a city's soul. We can't stop artistic expression just because it costs too much to either produce or to experience. Live music in this almost frenetic environment is truly honest, there is nothing timid about it. There is nothing commercial about it. It's pure, sometimes imperfect, but always real.
It was a good day.