|Peasants Playing Cards in a Tavern by Adriaen Brouwer|
A dream of two days ago will not escape me. It is ever pertinent, because it lingers still in my memory, and its narrative, symbology and emotional meanings are carried through into my dreams today:
I am running, as a fugitive would run, I run with everything that I am. I seem to be escaping the watch of some unknown authoritative holding. The police, FBI, it could be any of these, or it could be something more abstract. I am unsure, yet I am running.
Next, I find myself busking with a guitar beside a Fire Station in the town of Mattapoisett, Massachusetts. This is an odd place to find one's self busking, however I am in the eye of governmental authority. My change bowl clinks with a Canadian loonie and a few pennies. I am enjoying playing the guitar, then I feel as if I am being chased again, the firefighters seem to all glare and approach as if from above, and my whole environment around me seems to do the same.
I at New York University. My step-father is guiding me to sign up for a set of classes with a Master's program as he had always wished for me. I comply with passive-aggressive remarks and actions, thinking in my head one thing while doing another. I sign up for some classes in his presence. Next, he buys me a cheap guitar out on the street. I see him speed off with an unforgivably strange partner, however he is happy, and so I am content.
I visit a friend, we are in a small space, inside what seems to be a bedroom of a trailer. I show the people there the guitar and it seems to be entirely unplayable. It is a cheap piece of trash. We sit awkwardly around the television, wasting time.
I then go down an alleyway which appears similar to the alleyways in and around Cairo, Egypt's downtown midan or squares. In the alleway, I see people busking. They are bringing such authentic vibrations of strength, persistence and genuine enjoyment to an otherwise dull and dreary atmosphere of biological decay and mental stagnance. The street performers are still not well-recognized nor respected well by passerby onlookers. I cheerfully greet these buskers and enjoy their drumming.
Next, I am in what seems to be the inside of a warehouse, it is a filled with the stereotypical busker of the public mind. A recurring dream-character, tall, stout, blonde-haired, bearded with bad complexion. Within the warehouse there is homelessness, deprivation, madness, poverty. I walk through unaffected yet witnessing, somehow removed by unique experience. I have returned to a world filled with inequalities and cheap resolve for a way of life which transforms peoples minds into that of a fugitive.
One day, while reflecting on the act of street performing/busking, I was taken with the notion that busking is in many respects like gambling. And from a crude perspective, the art of pure improvisation is in a way a form of gambling, wherein you anticipate, based on one's knowledge of the variables at hand, the outcome of a certain action. The fact that my experience as a street performer/busker has been through performing completely improvised music further emphasizes my notion that improvised street performing is a kind of gambling, however with the due sophistication of musicianship and the wealth of experiential confidence in playing one's instrument. For further understanding seek: myspace.com/vian and youtube.com/nivsha