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

Welcome to the jungle…

Marvelous day today in Boston… weather was edging the 90’s yet the breeze made the perfect combination for enjoying this sunshine without feeling like you melt away… this is one of these days when I feel I can live in this city forever

Sunshine!

Sunshine!

To put icing on the cake, my beloved Colombia destroyed EVERYTHING in their way to the knock out stage in the World Cup and that makes me HAPPY!

But I’m getting off track…

Today we decided to invade Quincy Market given that the weather was so radiant and even though there was a very wild wind blowing, we stayed!

You can't tell here, but the wind is almost blowing Simone away!

You can’t tell here, but the wind is almost blowing Simone away!

So we “parked” right in front of a bench that became instant front row seats for our performance!

Cool, huh?

Cool, huh?

Our point of view was a bit like this…

We managed to serenade many people that took turns to sit in this bench!

We managed to serenade many people that took turns to sit in this bench!

At some point of our performance we had a minor inconvenience when a street bucket drummer decided to be extremely disrespectful and simply started playing really close to us when we were playing… even though Simone was pretty distracted and a bit upset by this I begged her to continue and not pay attention to this disrespectful twat and so we did, we carried on and it was pretty cool that at some point his beat somehow ended up matching one of the movements we were playing

Beat matching was cool and all but this guy was a jerk for doing that to us... luckily we won and he got tired and left after just a few mins...

Beat matching was cool and all but this guy was a jerk for doing that to us… luckily we won and he got tired and left after just a few mins…

I was in a very good mood to be there and I think my face says it all

I'm telling you, there's a smile here somewhere...

I’m telling you, there’s a smile here somewhere…

Again, today we didn’t managed to get the invitations to anyone, people still don’t  grab them but meh, we enjoyed our time there a lot so no regrets at all!

So my friends, remember, July 2nd at Pickman Hall, Longy School of Music of Bard College (27 Garden St Cambridge, MA 02138) at 7:30 pm! come get your Bach fix for free if you’re in Boston and make sure to bring a friend!

About the livestream, I’ve been informed that Longy just changed providers a couple days ago so the new link will be sent your way very soon, I promise!

Thanks a million for reading and good night, y’all!

Loved it here!

Loved it here!

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Bach, Boston, Urban

Viva L’Italia!

Another gorgeous day in Boston, sunny, not too warm nor too hot and a bit of a breeze going around was just the icing on the cake to get us motivated enough to be outdoors today, so, you guessed it, we played in a park this morning

Not just any park, by the way, we went to the Paul Revere Park in the North End (or the “Little Italy” as some call it) which is just right outside of NEMPAC (http://www.nempacboston.org/), which again, is one of the places I work at and I don’t know if you’ve ever been around this area in Boston but this park is just a fantastic place, surrounded by this magic atmosphere this neighborhood has

This is MY spot!

This is MY spot!

We found a really nice spot to play at, we sat down and we enjoyed our time there, we had some people listen to us who thanked us for being there, but the problem is that we STILL haven’t been able to find away to get people to take a card to be invited for the concert so the experiment continues to be unsuccessful…

Told you is was a nice spot!

Told you it was a nice spot!

Also, one thing that we learned today is that we might wanna get a mosquito repellent to be outside because that was a really annoying part of this, this green annoying little things kept landing on my cello but anyway, the performance was a nice one and we even ran into one of our teachers from Longy, the great Dr. Dudas (also known as Dr. D) who complimented us in what we we’re doing which is nice because he is one of the early music gurus at out former school!

Yay!

For today I have no more stories for you, my friends but I do wanna of course, invite you again to come to Pickman Hall at the Longy School of Music of Bard College (27 Garden St, Cambridge MA 02138) on July 2nd at 7:30 pm to listen to our closing concert and remember that it’s free so please do bring a friend!

Thanks for reading, friends and have a good night!

 

 

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Bach, Boston, Urban

Sometimes you win and sometimes… you know how it goes…

Beautiful day here in Boston, not too warm, not too hot, just perfect to be outside without thinking you will melt Today we were excited because we were on our way to North Station which is always a very transited spot but unfortunately my calculations weren’t the most accurate ones…

She looks happy to be there, though... which is nice...

She looks happy to be there, though… which is nice…

When we got there I had high hopes for people being receptive but it just didn’t happen, many people just flew past by us and it wasn’t very pleasant to see that for the first time we weren’t being acknowledged…

People just stood in this platform without paying attention

People just stood in this platform without paying attention to us just a few feet away from them

So in all honestly, this is the first day of this project that I can count as a fail, nobody picked a card to come to the concert or even took the time to listen for a little bit but I guess a rushy society is the one we live in and rushing through the station is what everybody did

No more things to tell today and I have nothing left to do but to invite you to come on July 2nd to Pickman Hall (27 Garden St Cambridge MA 02138) at 7:30 pm to enjoy an evening with Bach

Also, if you’re not in the Boston area catch the livestream broadcast at http://www.longy.edu/livestream Thanks for reading, my friends! Good night to all!

One more down

One more down!

 

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Bach, Boston, Urban

Here, where it all started…

The title of today’s post is pretty easy to explain

Right after we started this marathon, I asked Simone if we could do at some point one of our performances at Josiah Quincy Elementary School which is where I got my very first job in the States as a teacher

Today we got the chance to do it and it felt so right

Let me tell you a bit about Josiah… it’s a school located right in the heart of Chinatown and its principal, Simon Ho, is just about the greatest guy you can have leading a school; he’s committed, easy to work with, he’s never an authoritarian and he respects the job that we are doing at the Orchestra Program we have there (go here for more info about that program http://www.jqsop.org/)

Then there’s Marlee Mcdonald, the boss! She is just out of this world and I have learned a lot from seeing her managing skills, just flawless. Now, I don’t say this because I wanna be a boot kisser or anything but because my first day on the job she did the nicest thing: she came up to me, gave a hug and said “I’m so happy we can have you here”. That speaks volumes about how healthy of a family we have at Josiah.

But I’m getting carried away

So we set up for performing and as I told you, I got free business cards to use as invitations for our concert on July 2nd and we just put them on a stand in front of us with a sign that said “Please take one!”

Ready for our experiment...

Ready for our experiment…

I have to say I didn’t think it through this time…

So it begins...

So it begins…

Let me explain… The doors of this school open at 9:15 and the kids come into the building with their parents as a sea of people and well, I didn’t calculate that the kids could also be interested in taking the cards which to my way of seeing things, won’t be useful at all for them (I hope I’m wrong)

And well… they took a LOT of them but at least so did some parents so crossing fingers some of them come!

The funniest/saddest part of this experiment is that some adults took a card, read it and then they put it back in the card holder…

Meh!

Nonetheless, as Simone said we got to play for these lovely kids and well, see for yourself!

Hi! do you like what you see!?

Hi! do you like what you see!? (by the way, this girl was mesmerized by Simone’s playing!)

Some of them were really really into this!

Some of them were really really into this!

In particular, I was very impressed by the level of attention given to us by a kid that unfortunately you cannot see in this picture but he was just standing in front of us the whole time really into it… this was such a rewarding moment!

I wish I had a third arm so I could have taken a picture of him while I was playing!

But anyway, it is safe to say that I really hope some people that was there shows up at Pickman on the 2nd

For now that’s all folks!

Tomorrow we will invade probably the most transited station in all Boston along with South Station: North Station and we’ll see how our experiment (cards included) actually works in the streets!

And remember, if you’re in Boston around that time, come on July 2nd at 7:30 to Pickman Hall for our closing concert! 27 Garden St, Cambridge MA 02138! FREE Admission

ALSO, if you are not in Boston or can’t come, you can check the concert through Livestream at http://www.longy.edu/livestream.

Thank you so much for reading and have a good night, folks!

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Bach, Boston, Urban

Don’t you just love kids?

One of the organizations I work at is called North End Music and Performing Arts Center (http://www.nempacboston.org/) and everyday their outreach program grows more and more while they create partnerships with schools in this neighborhood

Its executive director, Sherri Snow, asked me if I could come over and do some subbing for some K2 classes and I agreed gladly, I just love working with kids and luckily Simone was game to come over too so in a way we did our project with these group, but before that we took a chance at playing at Haymarket Station which is pretty close from NEMPAC

I gotta say one more time that the acoustics at some MBTA stations are beyond belief and Haymarket has probably one of the best ones so far, it’s just so pleasant and boomy, like a church, just perfect for Bach’s music

again, immaculate acoustics! I wish our concert was here!

Again, immaculate acoustics! I wish our concert was here!

The only downside to our performance there was that the time that we picked was at a time where there’s not enough traffic to have a big audience but as I said so before, if we get just one person to stop his/her day and listen to us perform, day is made…

And so it happened… a guy just completely stopped to listen for a little over 5 minutes and he said as he had to take off: this is great! I wish I could stay here and listen to some more… thank you for that!

We have a pretty nifty profession, eh?

After this we went to NEMPAC to meet Sherri and she took us to the Eliot School which is literally behind NEMPAC and we had so much fun with this group of kiddos, they were just so receptive and respectful!

Some playing for the kiddos!

Some playing for the kiddos!

We talked about Bach, about the cello and the violin, how they can make music together, different colors of sound and we even managed to get a couple of the kiddos to play with us

We had lots of fun plucking through "Twinkle Twinkle" together

We had lots of fun plucking through “Twinkle Twinkle” together

It was also a beautiful day today and the North End is just a lovely place so we can’t complain at all about how good it went

For now that’s it but remember that our concert is July 2nd at 7:30 pm at Longy’s Pickman Hall (27 Garden St. Cambridge MA 02138) and that it’s free so don’t hesitate to come, bring a friend and enjoy an evening of Bach with us

Have a good night, everybody!

One more down!

One more down!

 

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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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