Yes, it was a longer read than I am accustomed to devoting my time to. I was also suspecting that it could simply be a clever means to advertise Bell's work. Congrats to his publicist if that's the case. After finding out how far afield this article has traveled, I'd say that the advertising idea worked like a charm.
Since I've been busking a lot more these days I found that the article made some very good points about this activity, busking. I too was surprised by the outcome, but the conditions and surroundings were purposely setup to be less than ideal for this experiment. Still, I was able to see many parallels in this story to my own experiences of performing on the street.
I don't pretend to have the world renowned skill that Bell has. I've not played for crowned heads. Nor has anyone offered my talents national awards or accolades. Like Bell's experience, I've had far more folks pass me by than stop to listen.
My instruments could not be valued as being worth millions, except perhaps to someone who obviously has a few screws loose. Nor were they crafted by someone considered to be a master at the peak of his skills. Rather, I happily tell anyone who inquires the story of how I, a total hack, made my guitar out of junk that I found at garage sales. Then, there's my preoccupation with trying to make music with my hand saw. It's no Stradivarius either. Though there is a Swedish maker of saws (Sandvik) that has named their 'musical' saw after that famous maker.
Unlike Bell, I was never offered special schooling or training since the age of four by my parents. My talents were never nurtured by years of the best teachers in the field. Instead, I've only been self taught in any of my musical pursuits. There just doesn't seem to be any saw instructors listed in the Yellow Pages. Nor could I find any help listed there regarding how to make a guitar out of junk gleaned from swap meets and garage sales.
Nevertheless, I feel as though both Bell and I draw from the same pool of inspiration. We each play the music that we've been drawn to explore as passionately as we can. We each play to the best our ability with our respective instruments or implements, as the case may be.
Though I may never play to audiences who stifle their coughs until I've finished playing my songs, or perform in the most impressive halls in the land, I've performed for very respectful listeners, and in some wonderful rooms. I've had entire rooms full of noisy attendees fall to a hush when they've heard me.
I guess you never can tell what kind of experiments may be happening right under your nose or who'll be playing the next set in that crowded subway station or busy marketplace street corner. Who knows? Maybe one day Josh will be waiting in line behind me for a spot to play on the street. I'll keep my eyes peeled for the violin player who hops out of the cab.
Saw ya later, Reg