The allure of street musicians

There is something so mysteriously romantic and alluring about street musicians. Go to any part of the globe, and you find these exceptionally talented people, entertaining passersby, without expecting anything in return, with their haunting soul soothing notes. You could be anywhere in the world, a crowded tourist attraction or some deserted bylane in an otherwise busy metropolis or even at a quaint little countryside, there is no way that you can miss these people sitting at some quiet corner playing something breathtakingly beautiful. This post of mine is specifically dedicated to these hard-to-miss yet rarely appreciated talented lot.

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On my way to a Gaudi in Barcelona.

After a tiring nearly 45-minutes climb (I don’t even remember how many steps I had to climb as the escalators to this Gaudi were out-of-order on that extremely sultry morning), I spotted this handsome young Spaniard playing this unusual instrument. The music and the view from atop the Gaudi (mind you even after the steep climb) were unimaginably beautiful but the thing that caught my attention other than the obvious was the cloth placed next to him. It had the sacred religious emblem of Hinduism ‘Om’ printed all over. Seeing the cloth, I immediately knew that this guy shares a connection with the country I belong to. I tried to start a conversation with him but he was not too well-versed in English and unfortunately neither was I in Catalan or Spanish. So, all we could manage was a pleasantry ‘Hello’.

I seriously have no clue what instrument this guy is playing? If anyone reading this blog knows, feel free to leave a comment in the comment box. I would be grateful 🙂

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Accordion player (spotted on my way to Amalfi Coast)

This charming Italian man caught me completely off-guard while I was taking a leisurely stroll in a park in Sorrento. Lost in my thoughts, I was trying to absorb the scenic beauty of this coastal town, when to my utter surprise, I heard this guy playing the tune of a very old yet extremely familiar Bollywood song on his accordion. Imagine, how wonderfully taken aback I was by his sweet gesture. And he didn’t stop there. After giving me an acknowledging smile, he went on to play two more Hindi film songs for me. Well, I have to admit that I felt a little homesick then.

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The guitarist near the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma

Ah! Now this hottie was sitting in the park adjacent to the Palma cathedral in Majorca. I liked how completely oblivious he was to the crowd which was gathering around him while he was passionately playing his soft soulful yet somewhat sad notes. The thing that struck me the most, other than the way he was strumming his guitar, was his appearance which had this mystical yet non-conformist Bohemian like vibe. Look at those long unruly locks and the brooding looks (dunno why but he reminded me of Heathcliff, the forever-tortured romantic hero from Wuthering Heights).

Well the Heathcliff bit could be a result of my over-imaginative or excessively fed on romance brain, so let’s just move on 😉

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A few metres away from the Goldenes Dachl (Innsbruck)

This was an amazing bunch of young musicians. I happened to catch them performing a few blocks away from the world-famous Golden Roof in the medieval city of Innsbruck. The electrifying energy exuded by these fresh talents from a local music school was palpable. After all, they could manage to bring the touristy crowd to a halt for a good five odd minutes. At the end of their street performance, I was mesmerized to say the least.

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A lone musician near the Cologne Cathedral

Well, this picture has an extremely interesting background story to tell. This was taken somewhere at the high-end shopping area next to the ancient Roman Catholic cathedral in Cologne. After having a sumptuous meal in a local eatery, we discovered that the only credit card we were travelling with was missing from our wallet. Don’t judge!  Careless people like us do exist in this world. So we were running from one corner to the other, frantically looking for our precious card with worried faces, and suddenly I saw this accordion player in front of a bakery. It was drizzling lightly and the situation was really tense (at least for me and my family), however the crazy in me just refused to budge because there was good music to calm my nerves (how stupid of me, right?). Anyway, as you might have already pictured in your mind, I did stop amidst all the chaos and took a picture of this guy. No, we couldn’t find our card, but at least we came back with an otherwise not-so-perfect yet something special-to-remember memory.

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Florentine musicians at Piazza della Signoria

Who said you can’t be a crowd-puller at a mature age? See the violinist and the cellist in the picture, both I am guessing are from a generation that has seen its prime a while ago, playing and entertaining the people with such gusto. Notice the smiles on some people’s faces in the background? It was because of these musicians who were playing without a care in the world in this busy tourist-heavy destination at Palazzo Vecchio in Firenze .

P.S. The featured image on the header is also from the streets of Barcelona. The handsome little dude in blue cap, sitting next to the suave guitarist, just refused to leave his place even after being repeatedly coaxed by his parents. I saw the tiny one bobbing his head rhythmically with the changing chords. It was an extremely adorable sight to behold :)

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4 thoughts on “The allure of street musicians

  1. Good observation .. yes .. those street musicians magenetize the passers by unconditionally ..
    there is always some deep version of life affixed with their music ( may be musicians have better understanding of life forces ) .. I had this subtle feeling many times during my travel ( especially in European pavements ) .. but must say .. your collection of pics capturing the musician , their exclusive melodies and in total compiling Them into writing segment is very much appreciable .. keep more with it ..

    Liked by 1 person

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