I’ve been looking forward to this post because by golly did I hear some good music while I was frolicking across Europe. And no, I’m not talking the latest pop rocking rapping top 40 hits on the radio. I’m talkin’ the stuff you hear in the streets; local live folk music, buskers and the like.
First stop, Krakow, Poland, where I stumbled across these two amazing fellas playing and singing their little hearts out. Not only are they so adorable in their little outfits, but even though I have no idea what’s they’re singing about, I just want to sing along too. Observe:
Next stop, the streets of Edinburgh.
I swear, my ears are fine-tuned to catch the sound of bagpipes from afar. I liken it to the Sirens of Greek Mythology; the sound lures me closer and closer until I’m practically playing those bagpipes myself. Of course there’s no deadly rocks and imminent death involved, which is certainly a positive, but you get the idea.
I like bagpipes.
It may have something to do with my time at university during my undergraduate degree. Somewhat isolated in the Northern Tablelands, Armidale is the home to the University of New England, a 6 hour drive north of Sydney, its sweeping landscapes and natural beauty are something to behold. While there I lived on campus, which was a 20 minute stroll to the university campus along a quite spectacularly scenic elm-lined road overlooking grass fields. It was during my afternoon walk home that I would often hear the faint sound of bagpipes, which would sound louder with each gust of wind that carried the music close.
It was quite beautiful to see the lone shadow of a student practicing in that far away field by sunset. The poor kid had obviously been banished to the fields, for really, what could be more irritating than trying to study, nap or watch television in your dorm room with the deafening sound of bagpipes next door? I see the dilemma, but it worked out quite well for me. I could almost imagine I was standing in the Scottish Highlands.
In any case, this guy may not be playing in beautiful fields by sunset, but it still had the desired effect. Observe:
Last stop, we remain in Edinburgh but head to a narrow, dimly lit pub one cold winter’s night. My host, Beatrice, tells me I must experience a taste of live Scottish Folk Music before I leave.
On entering the pub, we squeeze through the crowd past the bar and find two rare seats by a table occupied by a group of drinkers, all with instruments. They were chatting away over large mugs of beer and I observed through their conversation that they didn’t all know each other. It all looked very casual, but when the music started it was nothing short of magnificent.
In what seemed to me a mix between wonderful improvisation and perfect synchonisation, this group of mismatched characters played their fiddles and bagpipes and tin whistles, and I could not help but tap my feet and smile.
There was no ceremony or formality. Every now and then one of them would just stop and turn around to chat with a patron or fetch another drink. They each played when and how they pleased and yet somehow managed to sound like a perfectly orchestrated troop of musicians. It was spectacular.
I’m sorry about the poor quality of the video. I was seated behind one of the musicians and was trying to subtly take my video without being the overtly conspicuous tourist that I am.
Great post. I love the variety of street music I see on my travels through Europe. And I usually stop and listen, cause you never know what your missing if you don’t listen! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myq8upzJDJc
I saw that post last year circling the social networks. Absolutely amazing. It’s a definite reminder to keep your eyes and ears open!
Awesome! I loved your videos. Like we were right there with you! I LOVE Bagpipes, too – my grandparents came over from Scotland – it’s in my blood and I adore them!
Your cool factor just rose with that tidbit of family history, Gretchen! ;) Bagpipes, Scotland, Scottish people…they have stolen my heart!
Hee hee! Yay! I wish I had their accent. When I attempt to replicate a Scottish brouge, I sound more like someone from India!
Marvellous music! All three videos made me want to get up and dance! ;-)
Don’t fight the jig! Get up and dance!
Music makes my world keep turning, I don’t know how I would survive without it! While I’m here I want to award you the Versatile Blogger award – http://showard76.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/row80-2012-check-in-and-versatile-blog-award/
What a great start to the week! Thank you Sharon, I’m most honoured :)
Music is such an amazing international connector. Not only that, there is some amazing music coming out of foreign lands.
It’s so true. There is truth in the saying that music is the international language.
How adorable are the two men from Poland! I am in 100% agreement with you, sat here in England on this miserable rainy morning I could not help but smile and want to get up and ‘jig’ about with them!
Thanks for another great post!
Hoorah! I’m glad the vids brightened your rainy day :)
Music and memories. Those little vids of music are worth their weight in snapshots.
I agree. I should really take more videos when I travel…
As a fan, I hope that you do both. Those photos of Venice you and your friend took are quite good–no snapshots there. Videos would be a nice addition. Your site is really looking good!!
Reblogged this on Donald Miller.
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