You Can Hear Their Screams

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Today I had a permit to busk at the 14th street subway station.
A couple from Australia bought my CD. They said they heard the musical saw in Australia and that they are going to start a fan club for me there :)

A lady said: “It sounds like Heaven”.
Saw Lady: “Thank you”
Lady: “Remember I told you that? It sounds like the music they play in Heaven”.
Funny that the piece I just played happened to be “Canticle of Angels“…

A guy said to me: “It sounds like an insane woman singing – so it’s good to see you with a saw!”

Saw Lady at 14th street
Photographer: Jenni Gehlbach

A young lady told me that her mother always talks about me. “She saw you when she was visiting from CA and you’re her favorite memory from NYC”.

The deaf lady (who really is a deaf mute, not an impostor) went by a couple of times, doing her train rout. She walks the trains placing sign-language cards by people. Then she walks the car again, collecting them back.

Shogo Kubo, the Japanese guitar player, went by with his busking gear. He and I always wear black when playing in the subway. The Gimagua twins who play guitar in the subway always wear black for their busking, too.


Albert, the messenger, told me that he got laid off from his messenger job last month. He now collects unemployment and is looking for a new job. He was in good spirit, though. “I got to get my Natalia fix”, he said, urging me to play.

Saw Lady & Albert at 14th st
Photo by Kitty

An elementary school class walked by with their teacher. The teacher stopped the class so that they could listen to me. As the class walked by me on their way down to the platform a girl asked me if I’ve played at their school. I said that I don’t think so. But she insisted, saying “and you were on TV”. Then it hit me – yes! Three years ago I played in front of a school in Harlem during the first Make Music New York Day and it got on the news on TV. There were a whole bunch of kids listening to me from behind the school’s playground’s fence. “Where you there?” I asked the girl. “Yes!”, she said. Amazing that she remembered this occurrence even though it was three years ago. You never know when what you do touches people, and just how deeply it does.

Please turn off the player on the right hand side of the blog before playing the video. Scroll to 0:50 in the video. You can briefly see the kids standing behind the school’s fence behind me, and you can hear their screams at the very end:

The Gimagua twins asked me what time I’ll be done playing today and decided to wait for my spot. At 4pm I handed the spot over to them.


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All compositions and arrangements
by Scott R Munson