Incite by Design

Caustic visions and shared thoughts on design, marketing, creativity, philanthropy, pop culture and business philosophy by Toronto design firm, Ricksticks Inc.


Hail to the Busker

Something I have always appreciated about my morning commute is the buskers in the subway stations. Chinese flute, African thumb piano, Peruvian pan flutes, and the occasional banjo add a welcome flair to my day. What is more, they are so good, I often speculated as to what the possible process was for selecting them. Is there an audition? Or is it invitation only? Well, the commuter daily 24 hours answered the question for me.

Apparently, once a year 200 musicians compete for 75 licenses to play in the subway. A bad audition means the end of a livelihood for some.

Now, I have been to more than one club where the music is awful, have bought more than one CD that I wanted to return, but I have rarely had a problem with the subways cultural cornucopia of auditory accompaniment to my day. Like so many other creative pursuits, talented people are playing in the subway for spare change, (or for those without a license, finding other means). Sometimes the highest quality is where you’d least expect it, right under your nose.