Diary Of A Busker Day 421 Monday July 29th Winchester High Street (opposite Bellis/O2, Time: 5:08-6:40pm).
I wasn’t going to come in today but decided to at the last minute, as I thought it might prove distracting and alleviate this depression I’ve got lately. Song Of The Day is one I’ve been working on the last two days: Erik Satie’s 1st Gnossienne. I saw a youtube video of an old Greek bloke playing it on a nylon string guitar, interspersed with shots of him walking around a Greek temple. I wasn’t going to play it yet, but just happened to start it suddenly. I think it helped there not being many people about as the arrangement was a bit jumbled up and I fudged the bit where the single line is all on the high string, and where it goes high up the neck, but no matter, because a man came out of a shop and gave a £5 note. Instant SOTD status!
He said he’d heard the tune before but didn’t know who it was by, so of course I informed him, although I forgot to give him perhaps the most vital piece of information: that Monsieur Satie and I share the same birthday. Anyway, we both agreed the tune creates a mood – an atmosphere, instantly. It’s definitely one of those pieces, which I think might be a good thing. I’ve also been learning it on the piano – in fact it’s harder on the guitar! But the notation is strange – there are no bar markings, and the performance instructions are weird, like when it says ‘questionnez’ – question(?!), and another performance instruction from a different piece in the book translates to ‘from the edge of thought’. I think he was having a laugh, was M. Satie.
Anyway, my benefactor says the piece reminds him of something called Macabre by Saint-Saen, so I might look that one up. After we say goodbye, I go into the Gymnopedie, as the music for it’s on the ground. I must have been about to start that one but must have had the other one fresh in my brain, as I’d just been doing it at home. A good job I did, as I might not have got the fiver if I’d played the Gymnopedie, but who knows, and who will ever know?! HOWEVER…right after I start up, an oriental family ask how much the CDs are, which is odd as the price is right there on the sign that says ‘CDs’! Maybe they don’t understand the £ symbol. Anyway, I show them a CD and the dad looks at the song list. I feel obliged to point out that what I was just playing isn’t on it. He gives me a £20 note, I give a tenner back and sign it, as requested! – definitely from out of town – no one from here would want it signed!
And then I pose for a photo with the kids, then with the father, then with the mother! I ask where they’re from. Thailand. But hold on: an £8.60 profit from a CD sale beats a fiver, so SOTD should really be the Gymnopedie…but the Gnossienne, despite it being not properly worked out, still got a good £5. So I think this can only mean JSOTD – Joint Song Of The Day.
Just after six, the street’s pretty well deserted. There’s a girl wearing a hat, on the bench opposite, who likes my – or rather, Chet’s – La Vie En Rose. In fact I think she’s French, so I shout across ‘Jacques Brel – you know Ne Me Quitte Pas?’ Yes she does, so I do it. I think I have her rapt attention, which I quite enjoy, until some blonde boyfriend plonks himself down next to her. Ha! I thought they’d go off then, but they both listen on for a few more songs. They then come over and put a mauve coloured flower in the bucket. ‘A flower?’, I say, not meaning that I’m offended – I might have been if I’d been in a bad mood, but I say it more out of surprise than offence, as I don’t often get flowers! Anyway, they apologise – they’ve spent all their money. Ahh – the cost of young love. I say it’s OK – I don’t mind (I don’t) – I’ve done pretty well for an hour and a half: a £5 note and a CD sale.
Earnings: £30.76p (Including one CD)