Bach, Boston, Urban

Closure.

Ok, friends, explanation/apology time…

I’ve been away for a bit more than a week but there IS a good reason…

Yup.

Yup.

Now, let me explain…

A week ago (last Wednesday) I was supposed to have this super busy day with a recording session, job interview, lawyer meeting for my visa application, an Opera rehearsal and of course, performing with Simone…

Yet, life has this very interesting way of flipping the table where you’re building your destiny’s puzzle and well, long story short, I had a bike accident that broke my left clavicle and unfortunately one of the extras of this incident is that playing my cello won’t be an option for me at least for the next 6-8 weeks

As you might infer, It’s been a tough week, you guys… this project that we work so hard on had to be stopped just for a stupid accident and it was painful to see it crumble

I couldn’t even get myself to write a post… but it’s only logical, I think…

After a few days of mourning, I had a long talk with Simone about what to do and we came to the conclusion that we had gone so far with this project that it would be unfair if we didn’t find a way to conclude it as we planned

In Colombia we have this saying that goes “it’s better to have friends than money”, so honoring that wise train of thought I decided to ask a friend of us if he would be interested in playing our final concert with Simone and luckily, he said yes

His name is Simon and he is one terrific Cellist, one who he was so kind and willing to take my place which was something that gave me great relief.

Naturally,  having covered the “we don’t have a cellist” issue I was able to have a more focused idea of what my role could be in this final step of the way and I decided that the least I could do was to be there and introduce the concert.

In spite of this obnoxious shoulder pain I’ve been carrying for the past week, I went there and talked about the project in front of our audience. To my surprise there were 8, yes, EIGHT people that saw our performances somewhere at an MBTA station, park or else and felt attracted enough to come to the final one!

When we started I said to myself that it would be great to get at least five people that saw us somewhere to come for the Pickman concert and well, we got 3 more than what I aimed for so as Kermit puts it

Yay indeed, Kermit…

After I introduced the concert I took my seat and I couldn’t help myself being filled with the nostalgia of not being able to play those notes one last time before Simone and I part ways (she leaves the US for good in a week which is really sad)

Safe to say, I looked a bit sappy through the whole thing…

Don't I?

Didn’t I?

But anyway…

The duo of Simon and Simone (no joke intended) were set to do the final performance of this journey and boy they did a great job at Pickman

My point of view during the performance

My point of view during the performance

I think everybody present at this concert had a good time but I’m sure not as much as me. It was tremendously rewarding to see the culmination of a project unveil the right way, even though we had this major bump down our path.

In conclusion, I wanna come out and say that if you are a musician, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for you to take your music to people out there, everywhere, in any way you find suiting to reach out for those uncharted audiences.

You will be surprised how much they will want to listen

We would like to thank Longy and our teachers for the support given to us in this journey, it was indeed priceless

Thanks to Simon for his kindness to step up and cover for me and allowing this to have the proper ending. I’m in big debt to you, my friend

Of course, I have to give the biggest thank you to my partner in crime, Simone.

Thank you for being such a trooper and basically have no buts when we made this crazy initiative take place

You were always up for anything… You’re simply the best, “Dani”!

Last but not least, thank YOU, kind reader for following us in these adventures, even if you did so for a little bit… it was so nice to find out that this blog was being read up to 60 times a day in some cases

I wish you the best and know that if you have any questions for me or Simone, you can always contact us at davidhurtadocellist@gmail.com, we will be more than happy to answer them if we can

Take good care, y’all!

See you somewhere down the road!

See you somewhere down the road!

 

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Bach, Boston, Urban

Downtown Crossing, you’ve been great!

Today Simone and I agreed to meet early to do our usual 2 performances per day so I could come back in time and watch the Colombia debut in the World Cup and I’m glad we did because the game was GLORIOUS! 16 years of wait and we won 3 – 0!

But I’m rambling here…

We decided to try and find the Harvard Spot so we went there at 9 am and guess what!? IT WAS TAKEN AGAIN!

By a guitar player, not less, but a different one this time (?)

Anyway, we again improvised and we went to Downtown Crossing to see if it would work and by God it did

First we went to the very first busking spot I saw in Boston which is on the Forest Hills platform at this Station

It went SO well! people stopping to listen, thanking us and such. Of all of them, there was this kind lady who approached us asking if she could take a picture of us to which we agreed with the condition that she would take one of us for the blog while we played given that so far we haven’t been able to get one (I’m not one to give my phone to a random person in the street but she seemed reliable)

Luckily, this lady was really nice and took this great pic of us:

I wanted one of these since the project started!

I wanted one of these since the project started!

Also, the lady got really intrigued about our project so I told her she could come over to this blog and check the whole story out so she took a pic of the URL and said she would… if you’re reading, hi! and thank you!

Finally, the very nice lady on the right asked us for a business card and I was prepared, so, we’ll see 😛

Then, we moved to the Red Line section of Downtown Crossing that goes to Alewife and we got a fair amount of attention also, with people being super appreciative of our job

So yeah, to all you buskers out there, Downtown Crossing is a great place to do your performances, great tipping, nice appreciative crowds and last but certainly not least, killer acoustics

For now this is it and remember that our performance at Pickman Hall (27 Garden St, Cambridge, MA 02138) it’s on July 2nd at 7:30 pm and it’s free, so come get your Bach fix as God intended it to

Have a good night, everybody!

You are the best, Crossing!

You are the best, Crossing!

 

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Bach, Boston, Urban

Today’s big crescendo

So, rollercoaster day today…

I met with Simone around 11 to try and get the coveted Harvard Square spot but AGAIN guitar dude beat us to it so it was time to improvise

Luckily, Simone has a very “ok, lets do it” attitude (shout-out to my partner in crime for that) and we decided to go again for Kendall but in the Northbound side

We got there and as we started setting up we weren’t prepared for what was going to happen next, that is sure…

The MBTA employee that was doing her shift at the moment all of the sudden said “No! not there! no no no!” and I asked her what she meant… she started saying that that wasn’t the designated spot and that we should go to the platform and perform there…

According to the list that I got from the Transit Realty Associates we were indeed in the right spot and it’s my understanding that if you perform in an unauthorized spot you can get your permit revoked if they wish to

As I don’t want that, of course, I tried to show her she was wrong and that that was indeed the spot but she was having none of it and just said “no, no it’s not, no it’s not”… so shout out to MBTA employee number 8331 (at least that’s what she claimed be), you are sad, bitter individual and I pity you for your unpleasant take on life

I also called the TRA people to complain about it and they said they will check up what happened and get back with me but my money is on that they won’t

Anywho…

As we had failed to get a 2nd spot for the day, we decided to give it a try to the Red Line section of Downtown Crossing and even though you won’t be reading this, thank you for kicking us out of Kendall you awful woman because this was one of the best (if not the best) performances we had so far

Shaky view, I know, but I kept this pic because it shows how happy we were there

Shaky view, I know, but I kept this pic because it shows how happy we were to be there

Downtown Crossing is such a melting pot, everybody just merges in this place and you get people of all ages and social statuses coming your way.

POV

POV

Having said that, let me tell you, it’s ALWAYS the ones that you typically expect to appreciate something like this that will ignore you *coughuppermiddleclasscough* and it’s ALWAYS the ones that you don’t see it coming that will make you feel like you are doing the absolute right thing *coughworkingclasscough*

Shame on us for thinking that

We had SO many people saying nice things to us today, from a guy that looked like Lil’ Wayne smiling at us while we played and saying “that’s really cool, man”, to a girl that came up to me and say “hey, I play the cello too and I think this is so cool”, to a couple of guys saying to Simone with a smile as she played “that’s just beautiful” (even though I wonder if they were hitting on her…)

We felt SO SO welcomed there and it was an absolute joy and a made us forget that bad experience at Kendall

Also, this might be silly but I got some tips for this and among them there was a 2 dollar bill, a bill I’ve never seen live!

Silly, I know, but I loved it!

so shiny!!!

so shiny!!!

We picked up our stuff and on our way back on the train I got a text message were we got the confirmation we were expecting to make it public so time for big news…

*drum roll*

Phase 3 of this project is gonna lead up to a final performance that it’s gonna be on July 2nd at Pickman Hall at the Longy School of Music of Bard College (Simone’s and yours truly Alma Mater) where Ms. Trollmo and I will be all spiffy looking to close this great Bach adventure, as I said before, with a bang.

More details on this performance soon, I promise

Good night to you all, friends, followers and occasional readers

Downtown Crossing, again: you are GREAT! ;)

Downtown Crossing, again: you are GREAT! 😉

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Bach, Boston, Urban

Playing on a Sunday Afternoon…

So, I’m a dummy when it comes to scheduling stuff…

The plan was that I would be playing with Simone on the Red Line today, on the North Side past Harvard Sq.

My genius mind decided to forget that I had a performance with another institution that I work for sometimes (http://www.yofes.org/) and the entire plan for today had to be rebuilt

I suggested Simone that perhaps adventuring into the Orange Line today was the best way to go given that my performance was at Roxbury and it would be easier for me to get there.

Off we went to the Orange Line and we gave it a try to Downtown Crossing’s other spot that has a MAGNIFICENT acoustic, it´s so so so so good that I wouldn’t mind practicing there EVERY. DAY.

I mean it, people!

I mean it, people!

After that we moved on to Roxbury Crossing which was a station that has been in my mind ever since this project started because I work at Roxbury and I’ve loved this community ever since, I believe that all the dirt and bad rep it receives is not deserved and you can find genuine, caring people there.

Because of this, it didn’t surprise that much that this has been one of the funnest concerts we have played…

Picture this: it’s a warm Sunday afternoon, almost nobody is going into the station but out of those few that did we managed to make 4 people stop their day, listen to some Bach and even tell us: “thank you, that was beautiful…”

Simone was for sure very happy to perform there!

Simone was for sure very happy to perform there! (ignore the Cello scroll in the way)

As I said before, that is all we need to call this day a success

Tomorrow we probably will gear up for the second stage of the project which is when I think it’s gonna get even more interesting

It turns out the glorious spot at Downtown Crossing is not officially one... whoops...

It turns out the glorious spot at Downtown Crossing is not officially one… whoops…

Stay tuned…

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Bach, Boston, Urban

Not according to what’s planned…

So today’s plan went a little bit different… I invited Simone to play with the orchestra of one of the programs I work for (http://www.revolutionofhope.org/) at an event at Simmons College and right after that performance we were going to go play at Downtown Crossing.

I realized that we were close to Ruggles Station so I thought that this would be a good way to get to our planned location We biked to Ruggles and realized that instead of taking the T and playing twice at Downtown Crossing, we could just play one at Ruggles and one at Downtown and so we did

Yes, we bike with our instruments

Yes, we bike with our instruments

Now, let me tell you, Ruggles performance area is poorly located, it’s behind a huge wall with a T “Spider Map” (one of those maps that list all the locations) that covers the performers from the view of anyone coming up the stairs

Our 1st venue today

Our 1st venue today

Nonetheless, I think we did pretty well… it was really fun to play in a quieter space than the engine noise of hell in Park Street and we got some really nice compliments from some really nice people!

Some POV

Some POV

I also decided that from now on, I’m dumping the chair for the performances and just playing standing up if there’s nowhere to sit

I ain't carrying a chair EVER again!

I ain’t carrying a chair EVER again!

We finished at Ruggles and we took the T (bikes and all!) to Downtown Crossing At our arrival, we weren’t sure of where we should be playing, yet, we just sat at a bench and did it, anyway It went very well from the get go and something kind o’ sweet happened A couple of lovebirds (probably on their first date) passed by us and the guy leaned over and asked us super nicely: “I’m sorry to interrupt you, but could you played something romantic, for her?”

Berto and Bethany, lovers extraordinaire

Berto and Bethany, lovers extraordinaire

We played “Air on G String”… I thiiiiink they liked it (?) After this, the Oak Grove train got delayed so people took a bit of solace on hearing us play while they waited for a train that was not arriving… We wrapped up after a really intense day (dammit, rain!)  and we’re very excited about tomorrow, where we’re supposed to do it at Harvard Sq. but as today showed us, things don´t always go according to plans…

After a long day, we still find energy to smile :P

After a long day, we still find energy to smile 😛

I wonder if tomorrow we’ll get to see our plans through…

I liked these two places...

I liked these two places…

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