Sunday, September 03, 2006

Musically emotional experience

Being a semi-professional musician, I like to listen to live performances from time to time. Jessica and I went to a renaissance festival in Pennsylvania last weekend and had a really good time even though the weather was somewhat threatening. Anyway, as with most renaissance festivals, live musicians were everywhere. I sat in on four different performances throughout our trip, mostly for short two or three minute stints. But towards the end of the day, Jessica was off shopping at some jewelry store, so I started wandering around the area and I heard some decent celtic music with an interesting percussion going on. I pulled up to the group and it turns out that the audience - maybe seven people or so at this point - were all banging away at some random percussion instrument while the two performers were doing their thing. It was a husband / wife team, with the wife being on a harp and the husband being on a guitar. I sat down and just soaked in the environment for a really cool song.

Jessica had finished whatever she was doing, so she came up to me during the middle of the song. At the end of the song, the lady performer grabbed another set of percussion instruments and handed them out to the few newcomers, Jessica included. For their next song, the guy whipped out a bagpipe and ripped into a really cool irish tune. The audience was really into it. Right next to me, an elder gentleman was hitting some claves. To his right were a couple of young arabs on egg shakers. Jessica was shaking a tambourine. Some other lady was ripping a bamboo scraper. A cowbell rang out every once in a while. The culmination of everybody banging away at their own instrument -- completely unrehearsed -- and the power of the bagpipes made for an awesome ambience, but something even more special happened towards the middle of the song. Some lady sat down with the audience and, not having an instrument to bang on, just started clapping her hands in rhythm. I don't really know why that touched me, but it did. Everyone was making music in their own way and it was one of the coolest msuical experiences I've ever had.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, you need to do some killing.

9:02 PM  

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