Brent and I will be trading off some of the posts, if I ever get around to them (seeing as we are traveling sans computers and no one in Europe seems to have wifi). Wat.
Hostels are awful. Especially when the owners speak horrible English but are too proud to admit that they have an communication problem. Brent and I wanted to be rid of Thousand Sunny as quickly as possible (nothing untowards happened to us, but hostels have people and people suck). We ended up with a random stretch of free time between Vatican-ing and sleeping in train stations which I took as a busking opportunity. Generally the rule that I divined 3 years ago was that city centers suck, and that the further afield you go, the kinder and more generous the people get. So I had high hopes for the metro station at Aurelia-Cornelia on Thursday the 22nd of May.
I set up in an inter stairwell passageway with excellent acoustics, midway down or up. After my re-entry-into-busking-pitch nerves were done away with at Arco della Pace, as described by my brother, I felt far less nervous during my set up. The passersby were poorer, mostly immigrants it seemed, reminding me of the makeup of Nørrebro in København. That´s the only similarity I would be able to draw, it appears. Everyone looked at me suspiciously. Mean glances abounded. I played much more cleanly, with only a few squeaks, but the looks continued to be very unfriendly. Brent began by sitting beside me, knees pulled up to his chest and head down next to his forest green backpack, copious pockets overflowing with a tent that shouldn´t be there in it´s broken tentbag, sandals, a red poncho bag, dirty socks, a book. After a few pieces I realized much of the distaste was directed at him, and so I asked him to move to the other side. He maintained his hobo-esque posture, however, and much of the passersby´s attention remained diverted to him.
I played an hour. An experiment with Bach´s Chaconne went awry, especially as my mind decided to forget the thing with the added stress of street performing. It´s incredible how much memory and technique suffer when subject to scrutiny, perceived or real. I remember three tips. A lady with a nice smile, bending at the waist. A girl with curly dark hair. A smartly dressed young man (as they all seem to be in Rome, gorgeous and effortfully stylish).
In the evening, with an hour to kill between trains, I practiced another hour at the train station at Aurelia at midnight. Playing without the added stress of an audience felt good. Brent critiqued freely.