It’s a Bird


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It was raining as I made my way to playing in the subway today. At the Music Under New York spot at the Union Square subway station Louis and a friend were playing Andean music. They were there since 8am. It was almost noon, and they said, as they gave the spot over to me, that they might return at 6pm.
I haven’t seen Louis for a while. He said he has been doing construction jobs, so he hasn’t been playing in the subway lately.
Louis and his friend are Incas from Ecuador. They speak the Inca language between them. Louis also speaks Spanish, French and a little bit of English.

Louis and friend

As I was setting up a guy walking by said to me “Still playing that saw?”
Later, when I was playing, a lady passing by said “Sounds like an angel”.

At 12:52 two Norteños waved to me as they exited the station.

Nortenos

At 2:30, while I was playing the Schubert ‘Ave Maria’, a young guy stood in front of me, took a green balloon out of his bag and proceeded to make a balloon sculpture. He approached me and placed the balloon sculpture on my cart, saying “It’s a bird”. I said: “How did you know that green is my favorite color?!”

making a baloon sculpture

Three strings tore off my bow – that’s a lot for one day. I wonder if humidity has to do with it.

Alex (the little ‘Michael Jackson’) went by with his gear and waved to me.

Alex - 'Little Michael Jackson'

A gentleman who sat on the bench for a while came to talk to me. I invited him to my upcoming lecture/demonstration about the musical saw at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts. He said “It will be a good way to celebrate my favorite stuffed animal’s 50th anniversary. Except that he needs an operation now – he is in three pieces”.

At 3pm Geo (Geovanni Suquillo) and his Japanese drummer showed up for their permitted time slot. Geo told me that Thoth (the Central Park performer who performs an opera he wrote and composed in a language he invented) was on TV on ‘American Most Talented’. I told Geo that a film documentary about Thoth won an Oscar award a few years ago. It’s so cool how subway musicians and street/park musicians in NYC know one another, even though we don’t play in the same places.

Thoth

Blackwolf, the Central Park Wizard, stopped to chat. He had his yearly spring debut in the Easter Parade. He doesn’t perform outdoors during winter.

Blackwolf

Delta Dave, the blues guitar/harmonica/singer, was looking for a spot. We said goodbye to Geo and went down the elevator together.

Geo & drummer

Delta went with me on the train as far as Times Square. There he was going to catch the #1 train to Penn Station, where his favorite spot is (known to buskers as the LIRR #3 spot).
Like me, Delta said he can’t play at 34th street by Macy’s on account of the violent hip-hop dancers group that harasses all the buskers. Delta told me that he was playing at the 34th Street spot one day and the dancers just set up right in front of him and started their show. Delta (who sits in a wheel chair) was forced to leave.

Delta Dave

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by Scott R Munson

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