There’s nothing quite so lovely as hearing beautiful music when — and where — you least expect it.
Whether it’s rounding a corner and discovering a string quartet (been there, heard that) … walking into a coffee shop and your favourite song is playing (ditto) … or passing a construction site and hearing a burly forklift driver bellowing opera tunes (one of my personal faves).
Today, the setting wasn’t that unusual … the subway … I mean, there are often buskers playing on the platform. But the music I heard was no off-tune “Blowin’ in the Wind” on guitar or beer-barrel polka on accordion.
It was the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard underground. It was an accomplished violinist and harpist playing exquisitely together. And they were so lost in the music that they closed their eyes and swayed to the rhythm, blinking them open only when coins clinked into their case so they could look up and nod a thank you.
But even though I did add to that clinking, it’s not my deed I want to share with you. Besides the music, what really moved me was the sight of a tall brunette lady, her hair pulled back into a loose ponytail, and the short stout man in a felt hat who stood beside her, along with a couple of others, entranced by the music.
The two musicians played beside a heavy dolly with fat rubber wheels and moving blankets (for the harp, I guessed) and the people were standing right in front of them, smiling, their heads tilted in rapt attention. And it was clear that the harpist and violinist appreciated that, well, that their music was being appreciated. Yes, it was a cold, echoey subway platform with hordes of people pushing past, but they played with so much heart and affection for the music, you’d swear they were in Massey Hall.
Yes, the two guys were there to earn what they could busking… but, let’s face it, most people don’t pursue music for the money… they’re artists because, in part, they feel a connection to the music and want to share that with others.
And that a few rush-hour commuters felt that connection enough to take the time to stop and appreciate the lovely music the two were making warmed my heart … and made me want to go watch a Marx Brothers movie!
P.S. Speaking of the Marx Bros….