When is busking a gig, and when is a gig busking? Is the critical feature location, or means of payment?
On Thursday, I was at International Quarter London in Stratford for an hour at lunchtime. More specifically, I was standing in the location called Endeavour Square (surrounded on one side by a building site and on most of the others by chain restaurants), playing classical solo viola (a Bach cello suite, some melodic items from the viola version of Mazas’ violin studies, a Hoffmeister étude, and two movements of a Reger suite, if you’re fanatically interested).
I wasn’t dependent upon tips for making money from freezing my fingers thus; in fact, I was both promised a contractual payment and forbidden to collect money, which meant I had to rebuff a few would-be donors!
However, not only was I providing background music (at least in theory) in a public outdoor space, but IQL had recruited their classical (by request) mood music players through Busk in London – who administer the National Rail station busking scheme I participate in during warmer weather and/or better health. In effect then, someone decided to hire some buskers to, arguably, not busk.
However, the semantics are of little importance to me compared to actually getting a paid gig this early in the year (and one where I could make use of the classical viola practice, and learning of non-orchestral repertoire, that all too often seems only indirectly useful). So long as the money appears in my account soon!
(PS my first wedding gig of the year is this Saturday, and there’s more of a regular stream of jobs picking up from then. Hopefully thereafter I will maunder about lack of work and/or money less!)