Friday, 30 December 2016

Playing in a morgue, Paris again and 'Double Bass Sonnet' - 13th -17th October 2014

Bank #2 - 13th October 2014
The supervisor asked me at the end of this afternoon's session if I'd earned enough money to give him 10%. "I'm afraid not. It was like playing in a morgue," I replied. As it happens, I did better that I'd expected to do on a day when it was tipping down with rain outside, and I got to revise some accordion tunes I'd learnt a while back. "What do you expect?" piped up another member of staff. "It's Monday morning."
Playing the accordion is a good anger-reducer: A few people 'looked down their noses' at me and so in response, I pumped the bellows vigorously and played really loudly and crazy-cheerfully after them - just to piss them off even more. Fortunately, I was feeling happy inside, though, due to the fact that Tayo (the bride of a wedding I played solo violin at last month) had written me a great testimonial this morning.
Knightsbridge - 15th October 2014
This afternoon I got money for the accordion tunes I play that are unaccompanied by chords which was interesting, proving that bigger, brasher sounds are not always what attracts people. 
Bearing the weight of the accordion is getting easier the more sets I do, and I've learnt that moving around on my feet a bit prevents my knees from locking and makes the music 'dance' more. Yesterday, I booked another six nights in Paris from 31st October: I need a break from the 'grey' Underground and from always playing alone, so it'll be good to hook up with my musician friends over there again.
Back at the office, the supervisor asked me if I'd been looking around Harrods. "Hardly!" I said. He then told me that I have the same features as a woman he'd just shown around the station.
Charing Cross #2 - 17th October 2014
This evening felt mild for mid-October: I was hot and tired and my violin bow kept hitting the roof of the corridor's curved ceiling. There weren't half as many station announcements as there normally are, however, and what ones there were they relayed at a decent volume. Maybe one of the buskers has finally complained about this 'announcements' business? Here's hoping... 
I remember one of the conductors of the University of Sussex Symphony Orchestra telling us before a concert, once, to play our instruments as if we were making love to someone so as to really get the passion of the pieces across to the audience. I applied this method to my violin playing, and person-upon-person with headphones rammed in their ears dragging sandwich-boxes-on-wheels behind them, faded into insignificance.
Here's a poem I wrote about the sum of my busking experience on double bass which was published in South Poetry Magazine 50 this month: 
Double Bass Sonnet
After 'Glass Jaw Sonnet' by Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Doghouse, lethal chump, lamppost, magic trick,
Bass viol, 'Jaws' theme, banished from the bus.
Mule-load. Bug transporter, hourglass, wardrobe,
Good wood, finger-slayer, lover, splinter,
Boyfriend-in-a-corpse-bag. Football target.
Cuddleable, boom-hearted, big-bummed frump. Bed-
Mate. Nectarous. Charmer. Door-hard. Head-turner.
Fragile beast, nerve-calmer, gooseberry, baby.
Sinuses clogged, off red wine. High-rise.
Sentinel, toughneck, scratched-up. Sombre, Heart-
Beat, living statue, Swing King, truck sides, turnstile
Scraper, pushchair-cruncher. Creaking,
Ground-shaker, escape pod for mice. Tourist
Prop. Gloomy. Husky-dragged. Soften my heart.

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