Where Do You Place Your Voice?
Remi, the Haitian singer/guitar player, was at the Music Under New York busking spot at the 14th street subway station when I got there. He has been there for an hour, he said. He likes to play at St. Marks Place, near where he lives. He has been there for 10 years now and has a great small apartment where he pays only $600 a month!
Since the earthquake at Haiti I have been thinking about Remi, wondering if he might have family he is worried about. It turns out that Remi doesn’t have any family in Haiti any more.
Two people remarked to me on how few musicians there are in the subway. A couple of tourists from Berlin said: “There is nothing in the subway”. I explained that it’s because it’s a Monday. Most buskers take Monday off. I take the weekend off, even though these are good days to busk, and I don’t mind busking on Mondays, even though it is very slow.
A lady told me that she is a classical singer and asked me where I place my voice. I explained that I am not singing – it’s the sound of the musical saw that sounds similar to a woman’s voice. I demonstrated to her how I play, keeping my mouth tightly shut, or talking to her while playing, so that she will see that I am not singing. The lady said that she is amazed, because the placement of the voice is perfect with the musical saw. She said that I would be a good teacher for singers – singers could learn from listening to the musical saw about how the voice should be placed.
I guess that’s why some call the musical saw a ‘singing saw’
Two men changed the inside of one of the public phones in the station. How nice that there are still public phones!
At 3:10pm Don Witter, the guitar player, showed up for his permitted time slot at the spot. He said that he doesn’t mind playing on Mondays, either.