Busking

And now for something completely different…

Busking. When people inevitably ask me “what’s new?” it’s pretty common for me to reply by telling them about the latest exciting adventure type thing I’ve been getting into lately. “I found a couple friends who are gonna busk with me in Northampton,” I say. Their reply?

“Busking? What’s that?”

I thought the term was universal. Apparently it isn’t. I thought maybe it was a British thing. It’s not.

The term Busking has been around since the mid 1860’s in England. It derives from the Spanish verb buscar which means “to seek.” Buscar itself evolved from the Indo-European word *”bhudh-skō”, meaning “to win, conquer.” It has historically been used for any sort of street performer who seeks donations, but has also been associated with prostitutes looking for, well, you know.

So yeah…busking. And can you guess what sort of street performance I’ll be doing with my friends? That’s right–Irish traditional dance music, AKA TUNES!

I’m actually very excited to be doing it, and I think it does a number of positive things on a number of levels. It obviously brings Irish music out into the world for any passer-by to enjoy, thereby increasing awareness of this fine genre. It also helps the us buskers get used to playing in public, and also to get used to playing with other people with a focus on best performance. I mean, in a session, my mistakes are pretty much covered up by all the really good musicians, but busking with two other people, I’d like to be a little more on top of things. I have already learned and gained so much just by practicing with my friends leading up to this. I always liked smaller sessions best, and this is just perfect for me. I find that playing with musicians who are better players than myself helps me play better. It’s a cool feeling. Another plus that I’m expecting is the positive reaction of the public to our playing. I don’t expect to make much money–that’s not why I’m doing it–but I do hope it brings a little something positive into people’s lives for a minute or so.

I’ll be sure to make it known when we are planning to be out playing, probably by adding something to the LVBIS Facebook page, and possibly by adding it to the calendar. Wish us luck!

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5 thoughts on “Busking

  1. Guluck! Especially for instruments that are more stable, unlike the uilleann pipes, busking can be a lot of fun. Ádh mór agus bainigí sult as a chara. Bíonn taithí mhaith i gceist.

    • Oh I’m sure there’s no end of talent scouts just waiting for us to start. The next Bothy Band is what WE’LL be, especially with your rock and roll bouzouki playing!

  2. I wish I could catch up to you guys and join in. Unfortunately…..
    But, I have noticed that there are several people who do this outside of Greenfield Market in Greenfield. I have already bumped into two Irish fiddle players at different times. I tipped them off to the sessions in Shelburne Falls. You might think about trying this in Greenfield.
    Dave Sherman

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