Last week I was in Dublin on a business trip. I didn’t have too much time to visit the city but I did take my recorder out with me one evening after work. I headed to Grafton Street, one of Dublin’s two main shopping streets renowned for it’s street musicians and mime artists, hoping to capture some interesting soundscapes.
Grafton Street is named after Henry FitzRoy 1st Duke of Grafton who owned a large area of land in central Dublin. Construction of the O’Connell Bridge between 1791 and 1794, originally named the Carlisle Bridge, saw what was a fashionable residential street turn into a busy cross-city route. The street was almost entirely pedestrianised in 1980 and remains so today.
Buskers including musicians, poets and mime artists regularly perform to passers by, often on weekday evenings and on weekends. With my trip falling in the week, I really wasn’t sure what type of atmosphere I’d find. It was around 9 pm on a Tuesday and as I strolled along, things seemed pretty quiet. But as I approached the northern end of the street, I began to hear a distant violin.
I stood about twenty metres or so away from the musician and listened as he played. It was lovely to hear his performance cutting through the walla of the crowds passing by. During a short interval I headed over and asked if he’d mind me recording his performance. Mark, a violinist who busks all over Europe, travelling from city to city, was more than happy to let me capture him playing.
I absolutely loved my time in Dublin. The locals are very friendly, the city is very green, Guinness flows a plenty and Mark the violinist was such a nice chap and a very talented street musician.