Take an ordinary scene on an ordinary day, say a dank subway tunnel or a cloudy outdoor market. Now throw in just a dash of live music, and watch how the world comes alive.
There’s something about live. All kinds of live. It engages the senses in the here and now, making an overwhelming point about living in the moment and immersing oneself in it. It spares a thought for the artist and develops a sense of gratitude in the receiver for being at the receiving end of years of talent, passion and practice. It gives the mind freedom to imagine a tango between itself and the creative space that it has been allowed into. I’m making a case for sensory pleasures here, the kinds which open the senses to the experience of living in the moment along with the gratitude that comes with it.
Europe is busker heaven, and they’ve added a whole lot of life to so many moments on this trip. Every time I heard the strains of music, I could not help but skip towards it and give it at least five seconds of my concentration and sometimes even a place in my head for the whole day. As I climbed the 200ft Scott Monument on a windy Edinburgh day, the strains of a piper from the intersection below accompanied me all the way to the top. The extra dimension was so uplifting that I tracked him down, kilt and all, for a very grateful thank you. London’s tube stations have excellent natural acoustics and every busker there has been extraordinary (yes, they audition!). I’ve been going to live shows for years, but now live (music/dance/theater/art) has become a strange addiction, a living-breathing-entity I crave every so often. Routine can often use a reminder that we are living too short a life to be governed by only itself.
At Bath Abbey, Roman Baths