One of my favorite things about being in big cities is the presence of street musicians. I love the musical spontaneity that comes with living in or visiting a bustling city. The music that street musicians provide can perfectly complement the atmosphere, lift your mood and inspire you.
The other night, while giving a super quick impromptu tour de Bilbao to some friends, we ran into this terrifically energetic drumming group giving flash performances all over the old quarter of the city. After Googling them later, I found out they’re a Madrid-based group called Hakuna Ma Samba, and their motto is “Elige ser feliz”, or “Choose to be happy,” which they do very well. I dig.
Street performers, or musical buskers (you learned a new word today!), aren’t bound to streets as the only place for their performances. Another common venue for these musicians is on big city subways, like this incredible guitar/violin duo my mom and I came across during our trip to Rome in February:
Some of them play for a living while others play to make extra cash doing something they love. I ran into these guys in downtown Bilbao last fall, and after reading their sign I just had to give them my spare change. For creativity, if nothing else!
A few weeks ago when I was in Portugal, I stumbled upon this random assembling of couples who heard some music in a plaza stopped to dance…. in the pouring rain!
These performances and spontaneous acts of music and dance are, for me, one of the most beautiful things in life. Music can bring so much joy, and when encountered outside of its traditional environments like concert halls and theaters, it reminds us not to take life so seriously and to experience the beauty in every moment.
Next time you see a street musician, I hope you’ll give them your spare change. It’s the least you can do for them making your day!