18 October 2016

Busking the drizzle

It’s been bitingly cold when the wind is out, so maybe that explains why I haven’t noticed many buskers. But we were on Museum Island as tourists, so we caught some. Adote was on a bridge and exposed so well rugged up. I heard his short, flighty, clever jazz soprano sax lines from a distance so went over for a chat. Turns out he’d been to school with Christof Titz who I’d heard a few nights before at ZigZag. The other busker was around the corner playing a far more obscure instrument, a glass harp. I’ve rung crystal glasses at a dinner party with a wet finger on the rim like many others, but I’d never heard the technique developed to play classical hits (I asked about jazz but he was reticent; his CD features Bach, Mozart and Boccherini). Sergey Karamyshev’s collection of glasses was a veritable instrument, chromatic and with a multi-octaves range, tuned for each performance by adding water, all crystal mounted and moveable in a flight case with its own period-styled, curve legged table. And he was fluid (excuse the pun) playing light classics (inevitable for such an audience) and friendly in answering many questions about his instrument (also inevitable). It’s a lovely soft and ringing tone when played with such rapid, multi-fingered skill. It has been drizzling rain but even so I wondered how he kept fingers moistened and I feared for any chipped edges, which seem a too common occurrence for our crystal glasses. But I was entranced by something truly new to me. Nicely played.

Adote (soprano sax) and Sergey Karamyshev (glass harp) busked in the drizzle for tourists on Museum Island in Berlin.

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