Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Another man and his flute, and a budgie with a guitar

You're going to think I have a thing for guys with flutes if you remember my November moodling
http://simplemoodlings.blogspot.com/2010/11/man-and-his-flute.html. Maybe I do. Or maybe I just have a thing for people who are un-self-conscious enough that they're able to share their music in public places.

I ran into another one of those people this morning when I went to get groceries. I had to stop at the bank to get some money from the ATM, and as I waited for a woman to finish at the machine, I noticed a guy I'd seen in the mall rotunda before. He had put a speaker up on a stand, and had one of those roll-out extension cords, the end of which he handed to the lady behind the counter at the health food store. He plugged in his speaker and a small programmable keyboard machine, and was still setting up when I walked past him on my way to the grocery store after my ATM stop. A small sign bore his name and the title "Andean Panflute Player." He had CDs available for twenty dollars.

After twenty minutes of getting groceries, I returned to the open area near the bank machine and sat on a bench for two minutes to listen to the Andean Panflute Player, who was in full swing, playing a slightly off-key but mostly lovely rendition of Abba's Fernando for a number of pedestrians who kept on moving, and one elderly gent who was listening intently until his wife came and they left together. I sent a smile in the flute player's direction as he began to play "I Have a Dream" on a recorder that seemed to be about a quarter pitch too flat for his programmable key board. Up to that moment, I had been tempted to buy one of his CDs, but I have enough of an ear for music that I'm not sure I could stomach too many tunes on that recorder.

Music and the ability to share it in a public way has been on my mind a lot lately. I've taken to listening to CKUA radio ("Original radio, across Alberta and around the world" is one of its slogans) because it plays music that you'd never hear on a top 100 station. I think one of the reasons I enjoy it as much as I do is because a lot of the artists strike me as being about as talented as I am, just gutsier with their desire to share their music. I admire gutsiness, which is one reason I appreciate buskers and Andean Panflute Players, even if they're off key. There's something wonderful about being that uninhibited when it comes to offering what talent you possess to the world.

If you admire gutsiness, too, have a listen to http://www.ckua.org/. And today I'll be a bit gutsier than usual and post my "online busking" of a song by a folksinger of the sort who gets played on CKUA. Buddy the budgie was the more entertaining of the two of us when we made this video last January, and his part was one of those totally unplanned but excellent surrprises.

The best thing about this kind of busking is you don't have to feel obliged to throw money, or buy a CD. Watch this space for more tunes, coming eventually, no doubt...

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