15 October 2014

You don’t have any idea what this guy was doing, do you?

Don’t feel too bad. I had none either. Here, I was – frantically looking for a place to settle down in Alexandria with a friend that I have admired a lot and only got to see him after 22 years. Obviously, I did not have any patience for too many things as I looked for a Old Town spot by the water to settle down in. But Jamey, not only caught my attention, he took my breath away.

So, here was this senior gentleman that would seemingly have spread out his table with all sorts of wine and shot glasses on his table. Given my interest in anything remotely connected to a OH molecule, I was intrigued. “Is he selling wine glasses”? I asked myself. “Why does he have all those glasses half filled with water then?”. I was surprised enough that I told my friend – “Let’s go check out”.

What I saw was unbelievable. What Jamey – the senior gentleman – was doing was this – by pulling his finger along the edge of the glasses, he was creating a musical note. This is how it works – he cleaned his fingers with soap and then dipped them in distilled water to take out as much oil from the finger ridges as he could. Then as his finger ridges traveled over the edge of the glass, it created a vibration (think about taking a serrated saw over a glass edge) and produced a sound. But then, the frequency of the note was produced by resonance from the water surface – and therefore by carefully calibrating how much water he poured in it, he modified the note in those zillions of glasses he had. It is called a Glass Harp!!!

You think that is crazy? Try this … He asked me where was I from? I said Atlanta. He asked me where I was born? I said India. And he proceeded to play “Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram” for the next five minutes! My jaw dropped!

What talent! What an amazing experience for me!!!

You know what amazes me the most? He puts on his tie everyday he comes to the street corner to play!! Talk of passion!!!

[Epilogue – he told me he has a CD on Amazon and is working on a DVD. I googled him – “Jamey Turner” – up and he was all over Youtube. If you are ever in Alexandria, look him up. If you feel so inclined, buy his CD and write him a note. I know I will.]

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Posted October 15, 2014 by Rajib Roy in category "Travelogs

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