I've found that to slow down long enough to appreciate and experience beauty -- in art, philosophy, music, in laughter, in the strangeness that is folk, in literature -- you have to arrest novelty; that is, the lure of the latest 'new thing.' There have been many songs written about this, one being Carly Simon's The Stuff that Dreams are Made of.
Tech and computer life drowns us with novelty.
I have seen & heard my share of street musicians in my lifetime, performances that were both good and bad.
But the single performance that stands out in my mind and was the most memorable, was a guy that was not only good, he had novelty, as well.
He was a drummer that created his drums from buckets, laundry baskets, pots & pans. With a certain child-like playfulness that we all can identify with from our youth, banging on mom's or grandma's pots & pans in the kitchen, he seemed like a guy that just never stopped.
He had fun and we had fun, watching & listening. And although it was around 20 years ago, I still think about it every time I am at that location waiting for a bus.
This drummer had crowd appeal and was a skilled street musician
It takes more than good playing and a good instrument to be a successful street performer...as a matter of fact, neither is a requirement at all. It takes something much different to command a crowd in a subway station or on a street corner.
Joshua Bell may be one of the greatest in the world, but he makes a lousy street musician
. If he had wanted to get attention, he should have done what a good street musician might have, and dress up like a cricket
or something...or maybe play Hendrix on an electric violin
Or like this guy
that has no trouble finding an audience on the street, eager to be around him when he plays his violin.
I am sure the results would have been quite different.
But on the other side of the coin, would anyone pay $100 to hear a good street musician play in a concert hall?