How to Make Music Out of Buckets & Pans.

Via on Jul 1, 2012

I was rushing through the streets of old, hot & dry Madrid, going through my mental list of don’t-forget-tos when I suddenly got hit by an avalanche of buckets and pans.

But it didn’t sound like when I (try to) cook and eventually burn the kitchen. It sounded more like the heartbeat of life or sad joy or something restless in between.

The unexpected bucket concerto made me stop against my will, even though I was late for my next errand. (Time and I have never been great friends, anyway).

An older version of the same performance sounds like this:

After the applause, I asked him how long he had been doing it for. It turns out he’s been a drummer for 20 years, but it took him two years of intense practice to figure out all the different pan and bucket sounds and combine them into a work of art.

I’ve always admired street musicians. They say that playing in the street or on the subway is the best initiation rite for anyone who is serious about performing arts—or just to get rid of unnecessary ego expenses.

I also think it’s the perfect life metaphor.

Because, really, isn’t life just a big street on which we walk for a few good 80 years (if we’re lucky), where each of us performs with our own, unique instrument, reminding the tired passerby in you or in me, that our heart is still beating, that this walk is a brief, painful yet beautiful thing, and that every step should be meant like it’s the first and lived like it’s the last?

Filmmaker Carlos Carcas is currently working on a documentary based on Doctor Bucketman’s work. You can find Doctor Bucketman on YouTube or contact him at doctorbucketman@yahoo.es.

 

I added this to my don’t-forget-to list before walking away:

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”  

~ Howard Thurman

 

~ Like elephant culture on Facebook. ~

About Andrea Balt

Co-Founder / Editor in Chief of Rebelle Society, Wellness Alchemist at Rebelle Wellness & Creativity Curator at Creative Rehab. Unfinished book with a love for greens, bikes and poetry; raised by wolves & adopted by people; not trying to make art but to Be Art. Holds a BA in Journalism & Mass Communication, an MFA in Creative Writing & a Holistic Health Coach degree from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition®. In her work she tries to reflect the wholeness of the human experience by combining Art & Health + Brains & Beauty + Darkness & Brilliance into a more alive, unabridged and unlimited edition of ourselves. She is also on a quest to reinstate Creativity as one of our essential Human Rights to (hopefully and soon) be included in the UN Declaration. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram and sign up for her Monthly Stroke of Renaissance.

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8 Responses to “How to Make Music Out of Buckets & Pans.”

  1. Robert Piper Robert_Piper says:

    Great article! In Chicago these guys http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpRL1apJfx4 are notorious, by the end of the day their entire bucket is filled up with money. They work outside the baseball and football games.

  2. Great energy Dr Bucket and pans man. We discover so much by taking notice of the world around us (you couldn't have missed this one haha) and how lucky we are to be bestowed with such gifts. Thank you for sharing Andrea. Love the "unnecessary ego expenses" and yes a beautiful metaphor.

    • Andrea Balt Andréa Balt says:

      Yes, it surely cuts down on those expenses…it's hard to play in front of strangers, but even harder in front of strangers who don't mind you, who didn't come to "see" you but just passing by, who might drop you a coin or not, and who might even be annoyed by your music and don't mind showing it…Though I've never played my guitar in the street, I have several friends who do play regularly and some even make a living out of it. Some are great musicians and others terrible, which makes it even more interesting to realize the way they hold on to their passion…

  3. yogasamurai says:

    "Because, really, isn’t life just a big street on which we walk for a few good 80 years (if we’re lucky), where each of us performs with our own, unique instrument, reminding the tired passerby in you or in me, that our heart is still beating, that this walk is a brief, painful yet beautiful thing, and that every step should be meant like it’s the first and lived like it’s the last."

    No, narrowing the gap between your life and that of a street musician will take more than a strained metaphor, I'm afraid.

    • Andrea Balt Andréa Balt says:

      Please don't take this the wrong way, not trying to be rude, but 1) you have no idea about my life and as such, no way of denying or admitting any metaphors I choose to describe it. It's not a debatable matter. 2) I am not trying to narrow any gaps. A metaphor is precisely the opposite of "narrowing gaps"… that'd be a simile, if you want to get uptight about rethorics. 3) I'm not arguing or trying to prove a point or defend an argument, but offering a personal poetic image—and as such, imperfect for some or adequate for others—to portray the meaning I'm trying to communicate.

      If you think my poetry (or this particular metaphor) is lame and you're really interested in a mindful and constructive and literary acceptable critique, you need to come up with a better version yourself (that's rule number 1). But then again, since I'm only attempting to speak from my own vision of the world and not making a statement that ought to apply to everyone, any metaphors are acceptable (yours or mine) and any lameness is also debatable (by you, me or others).

      You can't critique poetry or poetic expression the same way in which you present a counter-argument…mainly, because it doesn't apply.

  4. Mamaste says:

    Just intro'd on FB to : Main Page.

    (Don't get her riled up yogasamurai….she's a passionate Spaniard. :)

    xoxo

    ~Mamaste

  5. [...] face it: we’re all at least a little bit inspired by the image of the street performer who is clashing cymbals with his knees, setting off a big bass drum by lifting his foot, blowing on a harmonica, playing the ukulele and [...]

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