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Busker Du

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It's official: musicians, grab your gig bags. Singers, stretch your vocal cords. Poets, warm up your word-play. A week from this Thursday, on September 11, OCC members and associates will appear all over the world (thanks Ben and Julia!), bringing music and thought to streets, parks and other public places.

Select a location and a time of day, and let fly with your muse. Remember to sing loud, play only unamplified instruments, and put a hat or instrument case on the ground. Keep the change!

If your time permits it, spend at least 2-3 hours playing out. Don't forget to note how passers-by react. Do they walk by coolly, without eye contact? Do they smile and toss some coins? Do they linger and watch for a while? Do they shout "Freebird!" from across the park? Do they talk to you? Do they join in and sing?

Feel free to play as individuals or in small combos. Let us know where you played and how things go!



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consider taking some colored sidewalk chalk with you and leave it laying out. It would be interesting to see if anyone takes the implied invitation to decorate your surroundings!

also, since the listeners are in motion, you can play the same song over and over (if you so desire)! I will try to draft Tom Manley, John Croghan, Tom Beller, maybe Jamie Sherman? Between Ande and I we can probably alert the northern folk, too.

9/4/2003 8:18:11 AM
stargrazer
I'm game! If you can, take a picture digital or otherwise and send it to me with the time you performed. I've got some ideas for some mixed media photography.9/4/2003 10:45:22 PM
nick
I think in this scenario, the camera can definitely be utilized expressively and musically.9/5/2003 10:49:07 AM
stargrazer
Do we know where and when people are planning to play? A mini group jam outdoors would be nice. I"ll be available to play from 10-3:30pm.9/7/2003 12:08:41 AM
Jeanne
I'm planning on doing something in Rochester, MI. Maybe the park?9/8/2003 10:59:32 PM
nick
I'll be taking the 4:30 shift at Ferris Park (Lansing) with Tom Manley and possibly Tony Sills. Some other prime spots in the area: In front of the Peanut Barrel, the park just south of the capitol building, Grand Woods, Fitzgerald park, etc.9/9/2003 11:15:52 AM
stargrazer
all i have to busk with is a nepali singing bowl, but i felt it was appropriate.9/11/2003 11:26:51 AM
ben
Today's the day, yo. Don't forget to remember to take pictures!9/11/2003 11:27:34 AM
stargrazer
Very appropriate! Heck, bust out the pots and pans!9/11/2003 11:28:27 AM
stargrazer
Report from the front lines:

Myself, Tony Sills, Tom Manley and Lloyd (sorry Lloyd, didn't catch your last name) staked out a shady spot in Ferris Park north of downtown Lansing. We played in various combinations of two acoustic guitars, a bass, harmonicas and doumbek, from about 6pm-9pm. Tony did most of the singing, and we performed some originals, some Dylan and Talking Heads, and some improvised "jazz." Lloyd's sister Katrina took some pictures, which I will offer up for your consumption soon.

Most people ignored us, but a few seemed curious. We made no money, but I think if we set up in a more highly trafficked area next time, we might get some scrip.

Let's not wait for someone to organize another "day of busking." Let's just go out and play as long as the weather holds!

9/12/2003 3:17:20 PM
stargrazer
a couple interesting things i've found in manchester relating to busking: i found a flyer stating that you should call such and such number to register with the "authorities" in order to busk in a certain district. the other was an interesting commentary in urbis (www.urbis.org.uk), a museum on the urban experience, discussing busking in singapore... quite amazing.9/16/2003 6:09:50 AM
ben
Interesting that the "Ill Communication" exhibit of street art on urbis advertises that all pieces "will be destroyed at the end of the exhibit." How does that effect the experiencing of the piece? I bet we'd get a lot more visitors at the gallery if we destroyed each show after it was over, making it a "unique viewing event."9/18/2003 2:54:48 PM
stargrazer
I "play out" a lot (in my back yard) -- but my audience is mostly a family of deer that comes to graze the field every night and about 12 wild turkeys. The vultures occasionally fly over to see if I'm dead yet, and the little red squirrel really doesn't like me anywhere near the big tree (gets very vocal...more than a little scary to see so much rage in such a small body). None of them tip worth a damn, but at least the deer seem appreciative.9/18/2003 2:59:44 PM
stargrazer
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