About street music
I first encountered street music as an 18-year-old on an inter-rail trip. Walking the streets of Stockholm, I came across an old man singing and accompanying himself with his guitar. His rendition of the 60's hit "House of the Rising Sun" nearly burst the veins of his forehead! Coming from
Finland, where I had just seen Jacques Brel performing "Port of Amsterdam" on television, I was shocked at how the old man sang with the same intensity in the street. Earth-shattering experience.
Two years later in the streets of Cologne, I met the violinist Klaus Der Geiger. A former star pupil of Max Rostal, Klaus had switched to performing on the streets. A big, bearded man, who had made himself a bow of a knotty
twig, sang political protest songs with his brute bass voice and sawed all four strings of his violin at the same time. Frightening revelation.
Street music doesn't have to be background music. The street can be a concert stage, but on a much more intimate level. When playing for only one or a few listeners at a time, the event becomes more intimate and demands even more responsibility than a normal concert.
Why Bach? When playing Bach's music, I feel as though I am in the right place at the right time no matter where I find myself. Playing Bach tirelessly, if I manage for even one moment to distract my audience from their everyday sorrows, I have accomplished my goals.
In the streets I am grateful for every coin passers-by offer, as their gesture is purely voluntary. Their motivation may vary from alms to praise but for whatever their reason, for me, these coins have a genuine quality
that one cannot assume from faceless paid vouchers given from concerts or other art institutions.
Therefore, I am glad if you want to support my street music "hobby". You can do this by making a donation to account:
I have often been asked why I play on the streets. Then I remember the obvious burst of joy on the face of a small street child of Rio de Janeiro, when he waved with both hands a large bill that he had received from shining
a businessman's shoes who had been listening to my playing. And I remember another street child, who after Bach's first partita on a rainy day in an empty gateway, shared his appreciation by staring solemnly into my eyes and with a slow quiet gesture, wiped his dry eyes, as life had already left him tearless.