I saw this guy whilst walking through the town one day. He had just arrived there. He held his guitar, looked around and then, at the top of his lungs, began to sing. I stopped. I stopped and looked at him, listened to him…briefly. In that brief moment, I was struck; not by the melody of his voice, or by how well he played the guitar. Truth be told, I can’t recall either *shame face*. What struck me was how emotional he sounded, how quickly he seemed to have been swept away from his surroundings and into his music.
It was almost as if one moment he was conscious, and a few seconds later he had disappeared to some different dimension far away. You could hear it in his voice, and you could see it on his face that he wasn’t just performing for the sake of it, but that he was driven by some need….and I began to wonder what that might be. Maybe he wanted to travel, maybe he wanted to become a famous musician, maybe he wanted to provide for a loved one, maybe he wanted to buy a meal for the evening.
I never found out, and I probably never will, but this guy was singing for something. Just as he sings, someone else is policing for something, researching for something, trying for something, fighting for something… believing for something. We’re all moving for something, maybe someone… and it’s beautiful to know that we can relate in that regard. We’re not alone in striving to connect the dimension of our innermost desires to a better reality.
Whilst walking to Sainsbury’s this evening, I happened to see a guy with red hair singing and playing, but I didn’t want to stop and stare. My headphones were in my ears, and I just walked past, but then I thought, ‘Maybe it’s the guy who was playing music some time ago’…the guy I had painted. So, I decided to turn back around and go to see, and hear, if he was the same guy. He was. He was just in a different spot, wasn’t wearing a hat, or the bulky sweater and looked much smaller in size. I recognised his voice. I walked up and said ‘Hi’, and asked if he was the same person who was playing in another spot previously. He said yes.
I then rose up my iPod and showed him my painting and his face just lit up! He smiled, laughed, seemed completely taken aback and kept repeating ‘that’s so sweet’ and ‘that’s so cool’, and “You f*cking made my day!”. He requested that we do an art trade, he’ll send me some of his tracks and I could send him the painting. I agreed. I didn’t ask him why he played though (which was what inspired the story behind the painting), and by the time I got back to the spot, after shopping, hoping to find out what inspired him…he was gone.
I may never see him again, but knowing that my piece made his day, made my day as well. I’m still smiling from the encounter now! Maybe someday I’ll be able to find out what or who he’s singing for.
So, I found out why he sings..so the story has a conclusion of sorts.
He said, “I go busking (street performing) because I need to make some money! But I sing because I love to and its the only way I feel I can express anything and for far too many reasons to write on a page.”
— and for the very curious people, this is what he sounds like:https://soundcloud.com/tom-sutcliffe-official