Colour, energy, passion, creativity. These are the words that describe the world of the street artists we call ‘buskers’
buskera noun busk·er \ˈbəs-kər\
: a person who entertains in a public place for donations
It derives from the Spanish word buscar, which means to seek. Seeking interpretation, appreciation, emotion and wonder.
Where better to see the flamboyant costumes, fire eaters, jazz bands and mime artists than at Ferrara Buskers Festival, which this year is celebrating its 30th Edition.
It’s little wonder as it has grown to become the most widely celebrated street artist festival in all of Europe attracting performers from
as far away as Australia and Japan. Over 800,000 visitors every year come to see the sights and hear the sounds created by 1000 different artists filling the streets – and what wonderful streets they are. The setting of the festival is in the historical centre of Ferrara (a UNESCO world heritage site) with the majestic castle as its back drop certainly one of its charms (yes it even has its own moat and I am sure I saw Prince Charming hiding from me in the shadows).
When the street becomes the stage for these artists, thats when the magic really happens. The beauty of busking is that you can find everything from jugglers with their comedy acts to musicians and artistic dancers.
Paradoxically this is what makes the street one of the hardest and possibly most rewarding stages in the world. The audience can be fickle. But this is one of the attractions of the busker. Jostling to grab the attention of the passerby. The busker is gregarious, noisy, with a booming voice and commanding posture. The urgent rhythm of the busker pulls you in. Into another world. Full of magic and joy.
One of my favorite acts of the night was performed by Alessio Burini and his partner. Just when I thought yoga couldn’t be any more challenging Alessio gives a 30 minute spectacular of AcroYoga and the amazing Cyr Wheel. I have to admit I was more than impressed by the teams agility, strength and sheer power that their bodies possess (not to mention the chiselled 8 pack abs Alessio has, truely a work of art). The best part for me however was seeing the beaming smiles from them both as the audience showed its appreciation. It was sooooo clear that they passionately love what they do and were immensely proud to be able to bring us into their world if even for a short while.
Turning into another alleyway we come across Kenta Hayashi. Kenta hails from Japanese and was performing tracks from his new album Loop444. So called because his music is created using a loop station;
A loop station: a music device which allows artists to build layers of music. Live looping is the method of recording and playback of music in real-time.
The 444 is as he is playing the guitar tuned to the reference pitch A444 (rather than the standard A440). Kenta then went on to explain that this pitch was famously used by John Lennon for the song Imagine and that it resonates spirituality. Sounds good to me!
I’ll leave you with a YouTube video of Ziggy McNeill. Who travelled the furthest distance to entertain us in Ferrara – all the way from Sydney Australia…….now that reminds me, I must hop to the travel agency to book my Australia flights!