We’ve all come across some incredible buskers in our time—often where we least expect them.
They may just be someone banging away on some bucket drums in the park, or someone who’s come with an electric guitar and microphone to play on a busy shopping street.
Sometimes you’re captivated and stop to listen, and other times you might be wrapped up in a conversation or in too much of a hurry to stop and enjoy the music.
But there’s always something so magical about busking. When you go to an intimate concert at a small venue you feel more connected to the artist than you would at a stadium show.
But finding someone talented pursuing their passion on the street? Well, that’s something else.
South Korea has a pretty significant busking culture.
But the neighborhood of Hongdae in Seoul is a particularly happening place if you’re in search of street music.
Oh Gwang-seon, a regular busker in the Hongdae neighborhood, spoke to Korea JoonAng Daily about what busking means to him.
“It’s is a way for people to interact with each other only using sounds and gestures, and without any prejudice.”
But not all the performers are regulars like Oh Gwang-seon.
Korean pianist 이재형 (Jaehyun Lee) came across a public piano on the street near Sinchon Station and felt compelled to play.
He sat down without even removing his school backpack and began.
Jaehyun wowed passersby on the street with his impossibly fast version of Pachelbel’s Canon, a piece that dates back to the 19th century.
His rendition is so fast your eyes will hardly be able to keep up with his hands! He makes it look so effortless, but the classical piece is a challenging one, even for experienced pianists.
At first there’s no crowd drawn around to watch, he’s just playing for himself.
But the beautiful music soon gathered an audience.
Watching him play is so mesmerizing that passersby couldn’t help but stop and listen.
Everyone started pulling out their phones to record the impressive impromptu performance. It’s 2020—if you don’t record something on your smartphone, did it even really happen?
The piano was also set up with a professional camera and microphone, in order to capture moments like this one that the public piano drew in.
It was then shared online by Daily Busking and has earned nearly 15 million views!
Busking is a great way for artists to share their passion for music without all the complications of competitions, booking venues or finding an agent.
When performing on the street, they’re just there because they love it.
They’re taking the chance to share their passion with passersby who may or may not take notice.
You never know exactly who you might be listening to.
They could be an up and coming star that you haven’t heard of yet. They could be a regular busker on this particular street.
Or maybe just someone passing by who spontaneously decided to play, like Jaehyun Lee here.
In any case, there’s a unique connection between the street performer and the transient audience.
An audience that didn’t seek out any live music, but have just been lucky enough to stumbled upon something beautiful.
Viewers both in-person and online were impressed with his performance.
Someone compared Jaehyun’s playing speed to the speed of his internet… and I felt that.
You can watch his hypnotizing impromptu street performance by clicking the link below.
Prepare to be blown away!
And for more of his amazing videos, check out his YouTube channel.
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