Buskitechture in Helsinki, Day 7

I think I had my most enjoyable day today (6.17.10). I decided on setting out that I should try some new locations, rather than sticking to the Senaatintori and Stockmann. That being said, I did my first pitch at Senaatintori, where I only got tipped when I made rather a show of packing up. It was very cold (13 or 14) and overcast. A group Finns dressed to the nines stopped upon hearing me and decided to take some photos or something among themselves nearby. The eldest of them gave me a five euro note when I finished, trying to sing them appropriate music to whatever it was they were doing.

But once I decided to mix in some sightseeing the day went wonderfully. I wandered further into the old town and set up a pitch on Iso Roobertinkatu, a sparsely populated pedestrian street with eateries and businesses on the upper floors. I met an African guy who lives in Vantaa there and he happily encouraged me to set up further down, wishing me luck. He’s an extremely skilled electric guitarist. When I finished I came back to chat with him and he spoke some very sage words – when he goes out, he doesnt care about the money. If the money comes that’s a bonus, but for him he just enjoys playing and the opportunity to share his talent. He told me that when you start worrying about the money you dont enjoy yourself and neither do the passersby. So it’s important to just be grateful for music.

I stayed at this pitch for just under an hour, singing slower and more relaxed, really enjoying the music and paying little attention to what I was getting. The workers in the offices across the way took notice and smiled at me, giving me thumbs up from the windows. One store owner came out and stood on the street to hear me as his business was quite slow. In general it was a bad day, weatherwise, as it was truly frigid – towards the end I could hardly feel my fingers – but I enjoyed the peace of the place. In the busy city center I often feel like I’m fighting the crowds. Here I could hear myself and I liked that a lot. I think that showed in the quality of my music. Those who tipped me did so earnestly. One woman pressed a one euro coin into my hand, tearing up with a heartfelt “God Bless You” just as I was leaving – that is all the tip I need for one day, really.

Zebra at the Orthodox Church between the Iso Roobertinkatu and the main pitches

I had another go on a sidestreet of Aleksanderinkatu and then visited the Rock Church. A Latvian choir was using the acoustics to perfection as they rehearsed – such incredible ears. They were singing very very tight harmonies, involving semi tones, and tuning themselves around a tuning fork. I’d love to play in there some day. Also a fabulous cellist. I forget where my last pitch was, but it was nothing particularly special.

Earnings: €19.14 + 5 SEK
Song of the Day: Let it Be – The Beatles

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