Posted by Elizabeth Devereux
One of my favorite things about living in Philadelphia is the murals sprinkled all over the city. On any given morning, especially one like this morning when it was warm and sunny and hinting at spring, I can stroll outside, and within minutes I will happen upon a lovely bit of artwork that transforms the mundane car garage up the street into a beautiful (and FREE) art viewing:
I walk a few blocks farther, turn a few corners, and, tahdah!
Another room in my neighborhood’s mural “gallery”.
This time I see the signature as well (designed by a friend of mine!):
My free and easy morning of art makes me wonder: what if hearing live music were this easy? What if I could walk around my neighborhood and see and hear little concerts at every turn? Based on all the earphones I see people wearing while walking, I know that most of us walk around creating our own life soundtracks day to day. I love listening to recordings and knowing that there are vast amounts of music available for my listening enjoyment at my finger tips, but what changes when we see LIVE music? And what if that live music were a pleasant surprise around a street corner on our morning walk to work?
When I experience these neighborhood murals, they are not pictures on my computer or photos on my phone–they’re BIG…
…they take over sides of buildings, or even grow beyond the buildings they’re on…
They’re dreary when it’s overcast, and bright and well-lit on a sunny day like today, they’re signed by the artists, they’re gifts–or burdens, if you don’t happen to like one–to the neighbors who live around these painted buildings.
What if our city’s streets were sprinkled with concerts the same way they’re sprinkled with murals? The murals are not just in the financial and cultural hearts of the city; in fact, there are many more of them in neighborhoods outside of Center City. [I looked for a map of all the murals in the city and couldn't find one; maybe there're just too many murals to make this a worthwhile resource, or maybe you can find a map for me.]
I know I can find musicians playing outside on warm days in Rittenhouse Square, and I know I might find musicians down in the bowels of the Septa Concourse, but I’ve never found musicians playing on corners around my neighborhood.