Friday, March 13, 2009
A couple of days ago I got to hear a few local musicians play in an open mic session at a Davis Sq. Starbucks in Somerville, MA. Impromptu music sessions in local coffee shops is not a new thing for me anymore. Webster's in State College, PA, where I was a regular fixture, hosted such events quite frequently. And yet, every time I see somebody strumming away some musical composition on their guitar on a street corner, a local bookstore or even a subway station, I cannot but feel jealous of how open this society is to such displays of personal music.
Don't get me wrong, I come from a place where every hero and heroine sing and dance in every movie. Music is as much an integral part of my society as it is here. But you'll hardly ever see any self-respecting musician play on the street or in a bookstore back home. The only ones that do, are usually beggers and homeless people.
And that is what I admire most about this culture. Such venues have become a platform for people who otherwise might not have access to showcase their talents. Around here, it is just so easy to pick up your guitar (or any other musical device for that matter), go sit by the fire in a coffee shop somewhere and begin playing. You'll even get a few admirers who'll listen while sipping their coffee and cheer!
I had my camera with me that evening, so I asked one of them if I could take pictures! Didn't want to disturb everybody with the flash, do decided to take my chances and take pictures without one. The low light setting in Starbucks that evening didn't help either! Most of the pictures have come very much pixelated, but they do have a romantic feel to them. I did a little bit of work on some of them in Picasa. Here are a few...