June 21, 2009

A Nontraditional Bad Music Sunday


Yesterday was a day chock full of music. Emily and I headed down State Street and `round the Capitol Square to farmer's market. And usually they have some people out there playing music. Most farmer's market days, there are kids stationed at each side of the square playing violins for what seems to be some kind of band camp thing funding. And this Saturday was no different, but it was a string quartet, complete with a cello welcoming people to the Square. And that's just a little bit of the music barrage that day.

There was also two guys playing together, one of the national steel and the other on a washboard that had a bunch of extra pots and pans on there. Across the street from them was one guy playing an acoustic guitar with a harmonica. Further down the street, there was a saxophone quartet with this generic country band setting up directly behind them.

On the square, there were four kids, two on violins, two on guitars, playing some kind of music, and also one of the town crazies who is usually outside the Memorial Library. This guy dresses in all bright, prison orange clothes (even his flip-flops are that distinct shade of orange...and has his hair and beard dyed that color) and his schtick is that he plays the piccolo (once I heard him tooting out the Muppets theme). He was out there yesterday, playing his piccolo.

Later, we got to see a free show of the pipe organ player at the Madison Overture Center of the Arts. It was amazing, really. It was a mini program called "Felix and Friends" about Felix Mendelssohn and his 200th birthday this year. The organist marched out and went straight into The Wedding March, you know that song. Then gave a mini lecture about it, saying how it wasn't a popular piece at all until Princess Victoria, daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, used it for her wedding that it gained popularity. He also played this incredible Bach fugue that had an extensive organ pedal section, where he had to quickly stomp out the theme of the fugue across those pedals. It really was impressive, especially considering how many other things are going on with a pipe organ at one time, with its many, many keys and knobs...really, it's more like a turn of the century time machine than an instrument.

But, the last bit, which leads to the one BMS entry for today. There was a guy out there, on the square, playing the pan flute. And selling his pan flute CDs. He was blasting backing tracks of new age drums and whatever, that kind of etheral soft noise that's so pervasive to that kind of Depak Chopra music. He did have a nice, professional set up, with an assistant and a good, loud sound system.

What really caught my attention, when Emily and I were buying some fresh spinach (getting hosed on the price, too I might add), the panflutist across the street from the vendor belted out the following song. I don't know the pan flutist's name, nor do I know the name of the guy in the below video, but I don't think this is the same guy who was on the Square yesterday; however, this video is an approximation of what he was doing.

Unchained Melody: Panflute Style

viva el mustache

ps...Mitch, do you remember the name of your man who played the pan flute? Casey Windwalker or something like that?


Jorge said...

Is it the song that belongs on BMS, or just this version?

Bryan said...

Just the version, I'd say. I'm not necessarily a fan of this song, but I wouldn't put it on BMS. Just the pan flute version.

Anonymous said...

His name was Sidney Windwalker. Casey was the name of the Cutegroomsman from last fall.

Back in Boston! :D