The Musings of a Street Performer.


The Best Things In Life Are Free.

I am sure you were being ironic little Beatles when you said, “The best things in life are free, but you can keep them for the birds and bees. Now give me money, that's what I want,” but the world seems to have taken you quite literally and the cult of money is now all powerful.

I had a most delightful time on Sunday at the Stirling Laneways giving music away for free. I have spent hours crafting and practicing my music and yet the right context for sharing it has eluded me, until now. When one performs to a random audience of people in passing many walk right on by but some stop. No one asks them to, they just stop because they want to. Some stand for a while and move on, some sit for a slightly longer while and then move on and some engage. At the Laneways, because my audience stopped because they wanted to and stayed only as long as they wanted to, the communication felt free and open.

Engagement is a funny thing, the baby, less than a year old with the bright blue eyes, her mum and dad, with bright blue eyes, they engaged. That baby stared right into the music, the instrument and the man playing, me, what a look. In the 70’s we talked of the Gestalt experience. I understood it to mean the complete self being engaged, whatever that meant. I think that was what baby blue eyes was doing, having a Gestalt experience. I had one as well. I felt myself playing to her experience, opening to meet her openness, sharing something very deep about my love of the beauty and complexity of musical communication.

My music journey has had a clear direction and purpose in the past few years, to explore the potential for music to express emotion, by varying mode (different tunings), rhythm and tempo. At the Laneways I felt various emotional responses from different people and could read some of those responses. I craft and create music as a creative exploration but there is always an underlying need to share what I have created and experience response. I am not seeking to validate my self or my process. I am human therefore I wish to communicate, it is as simple as that.

How many people stopping is enough? If I wanted to be famous then I would need many to stop, but I don’t. Being creative and really communicating is what I want. In a song however, “Give me creativity and real communication, that’s what I want” is not quite as catchy as “Give me money, that’s what I want,” so it probably will not catch on. I loved that baby and her mum and dad. They made my day and so did all the others that took the time to listen. I have found the context that I was looking for to share my music.