simple is beautiful
New York Daily Photo: Sieve
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Thursday, 22 May 2008


New York is an international magnet. It's like the whole world is on a tilt and anyone not tied down ends up in the city at one time or another. And for most musicians and performers, working in NYC it is a right of passage.
For a brass band from Marseille, I guess it would be de rigueur.
On the same day that I met renowned Will Galison (see posting here) we had this brass band from Marseille only a few hundred feet away. They called themselves Samenakoa and used a number of unique devices including a megaphone for the singer.
We are so spoiled in this city. We have one cultural tour de force after another - even on the streets we have extraordinary talent and in some cases, people who work professionally on stages worldwide. I have seen Philippe Petit (who walked between the twin towers), David Blaine and a plethora of others.
The streets are a good training ground for performers. Unlike a theater, you do not a have a captive audience - they need to be gathered and held. A tough job in a city with so many distractions and so much talent. If your act is not immediately compelling, most will just walk away.
Performers I have known who honed their craft this way have become extraordinary performers - not just showmen, but true entertainers. People like Penn and Teller. On the streets, an astute performer can easily ascertain what works and what doesn't. That which doesn't work is discarded. It's liking working with a sieve, sifting for the nuggets of gold that remain after discarding the sand. Separating wheat from chaff.
All those nuggets of gold and kernels of wheat - that's why I love this city.

Related Postings: Artiste Extraordinaire, One Man Band, Drowned Alive, The Naked Cowboy, Street Revival, Reverend Billy, Missionaries Meet Their Match, FĂȘte de la Musique, Palehorse Productions.


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