Sunday, June 3, 2012

Street Musician

I was in the city the other day - I wanted to see some exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And of course the museum has those wonderful steps out front. Literally hundreds of people sit there, and consequently there are street performers who entertain the crowds, hoping for donations. On this day there were some hip-hop acrobats on the side of the stairs, and around in the front, this street musician playing a saxaphone and a clarinet. His music was very enjoyable to listen to. But I was taken by the patina on his sax. I guess I thought that brass instruments were supposed to be polished. I asked the musician, whose name is Isaiah, and he said that absolutely you do not polish instruments! So the patina really matters.


Anonymous said...

I think there's a difference of opinion between street performers and professionals who play at indoor venues. Those pros who hold regular jobs have brass instruments that glisten and the notes they play can sound just soulful as the ones played by their self-employed brethren. Each has its virtue and it depends on your audience. It's like people. Most of us have comfortable clothes we can relax in without airs, and be ourselves without worry of ridicule. But on fancy occasions, we dress up, preen a little, and stand a little straighter because others may be looking, and we care a little more about appearances.

Ken Spencer said...

Thanks for this fascinating information! I *thought* that I had seen polished instruments in orchestras, of course. So I was surprised that this musician said that polishing the saxophone was the wrong thing to do. I really appreciate your taking the time to educate all of us.

Anonymous said...

Grrrrr. Right! This explains why Sam rides around in a disgraceful-looking 1996 SUV with 300,000 miles and faded paint instead of his shiny Mustang!

I just LOVE "both ways!"