Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Well, on Saturday, Louise and I went busking for the first time. I wouldn't call it an abysmal failure, quite. It did help in terms of finding the best spots to play in. Yet we finished with the fantastic sum of $1. Hardly a raging success!

Let me explain. We started off near the Art Centre, which is a very popular spot on the weekend with locals and tourists alike. Our license doesn't allow us to go actually into it, but we got a good spot on the edge... until a one-armed man with a performing dog came along and set up right next to us. (It's kind of comical when I think about it now...) We were pretty angry then, because we had got there first, and he came along with his little dog who sat on a skateboard and tooted a horn loudly, completely upstaging us! :) To be fair, I've seen him there before, so he probably views it as his spot. All the same, it wasn't very polite.

That was where we made our dollar, and then we moved because it just wasn't working, with this loud horn going off every ten seconds, battling our beautiful recorder duets that we'd worked on all that morning (and I must say they sounded fantastic--I didn't think we'd get anything quite that good). So we tried the City Mall, but all along there the sounds of bagpipes reverberated, very unhelpfully, and our recorders are no match for bagpipes. Then in the Square, there was some cultural concert on, with a big kapahaka group doing loud hakas and waiatas--all amplified, of course. So that didn't really work. Then we went to the Worcester Street bridge, but it was really really windy there, and our stand kept blowing over. So we decided to leave.

What's kinda funny is that parking cost $2. So we actually lost money. :)

We're definitely going back, a bit wiser about where to go, and when. We're planning to get there earlier, and get a spot on City Mall before any bagpipes players get a chance to get there, because that really was the best spot. And it, being sheltered, had the best acoustics for recorders, which don't carry well in the wind.

The recorder I've included a picture of is a Moeck 239, a wooden treble (or alto) recorder that I would love to get. One of the girls at music has one, and it's beautiful. (Only problem is it's $500 so yeah... I'm settling for a $75 Yamaha plastic one which at least is better than the only I have now.)

(By the way, have managed to post those photos that were giving me trouble on the last post.)


Patty said...

This sounds like fun. Wish I could have been there. I enjoyed reading your description.

Is the point of playing music-to make money or for fun or both?

I like the shadow gate photo below.

ellesappelle said...

Both, definitely both. :) Usually it's just for fun. But since we've practised up all these duets and actually gone into town to perform them, there are certain expectations of what you might get in return. For example, some other people from our music group have gone busking and earned $30 each an hour in the past. (Which seems quite a lot, to me -- I think $NZ30 is about $US15 or 20?)

I did quite enjoy myself on Saturday but the issue was that we didn't actually get to do much playing--most of it was trudging round town trying to find a good spot.