Islands are Surrounded by Water, After All (UPDATED 10/26/09)
Today, north on Route 29 from the Silver Spring metro, a guy was playing Handel’s Water Music on a set of steel drums. Specifically, the Menuet from the first suite in F major, in an understandably sparse arrangement. I passed on my way to do an errand, but dropped a buck in his bucket because of his inventive repertoire choice and the fact that he was making it fun. He nodded, and we both continued, him segueing into the Bourrée. Came back about seven minutes later and he was still plugging away at the 300-year-old music.
The point of this post is that this guy is pretty cool (if I owned an iPhone, I would have taken some video), but if you want to take a larger point, it could be: Classical music still holds a lot of appeal, so much so that street musicians will transcribe it to make money, and those who fret for the future of classical music should remember that in some ways we’re dealing from a position of strength.
UPDATE: I have been informed that this guy also plays Water Music at the Bethesda metro station. Also, I heard him from the platform on Sunday, and after he did some aqua tunes he launched into the first movement of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. So if you want to hear the Best-Loved Classics done on steel drums, go to Silver Spring or Bethesda. And give the guy some money.