Has anyone been to Santa Monica city’s Third Street Promenade? If you have, you know that it’s a great street to stroll in and shop at during the weekends (or any other time of the week). Not only will walking down this outdoor pedestrian-only street refresh your skin and nose with freshness of Pacific Ocean’s breeze (I live in West Hollywood, just twenty minutes drive away, and I can feel the difference) but it will also treat your ears to the fantastic music of the varied street musicians.
I hadn’t been there for quite a while but did go today and was positively surprised…
Every third of the block or so, a different musician had his/her instruments set up and was performing passionately. They were all good. There was a singer who was singing standard tunes over recorded tracks. Every few songs, he would interject and tout his unique singing style infused with his Amish and Black heritage. There was a 14-15 yr old girl on violin with her much younger sister on drums. There was a guy playing serious drums over recorded tracks. His drums had seen a lot (one cymbal was broken and a few of the other parts were patched together) but his drum skills were awesome. AND there was this older Asian man playing a two-stringed instrument. I later on found out that its called Erhu.
Among the hustle and bustle of the crowded street, each musician was connecting emotionally, in her or his own way, with the bystanders. These musicians didn’t need a record label, a band, expensive gear, auto-tune software, sound-proof studios or a social-media team to “connect” with their audience. It was only the strength of their own musicianship and a willingness and courage to share. Their output was “raw” and the connection they made was “genuine”.
When an old man on probably an older two-string fiddle can make that connection, so can many of us!