Sunday, November 5, 2017

Sanity Sunday- Two Gabriels of the Subways

  by Nomad

If you've never been to New York, there's one pleasant thing that might catch you off-guard. That is the extraordinarily high quality of street music. Jaded New Yorkers think nothing of it. It is their background music but as a visitor, I was deeply impressed.  I suppose that's why I often feature street musicians on my blog.

That high quality is not an accident. Every year since 1985, the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority holds auditions, to maintain that standard.
The program is called “Music Under New York” or (MUSIC) and with acts like Haitian folk singers and Balkan party bands, reflects the wide cultural diversity of the city itself. 
Musicians Gabriel Royal, and Gabriel Mayers, who play and sing in the subway, are featured in this post.

Royal tells how he got started performing in the subways like this:
“I was dead broke and saw a subway musician playing while I was on my way home with one dollar in my pocket. He was a pretty crappy artist and I felt like I could do better, and this guy had $20 in his bag. That was twenty times as much as I had at the time. So I went home, got my cello, came back to the subway and took a chance. The first night I made $30 and every time I've been back since I've made more."
In September 2016, Royal released his first album. A digital version is featured below.

  Remember us - Gabriel Royal

 There were times - Gabriel Royal

Fellow New Yorker  Gabriel Mayers describes the challenges of making music below ground.
Playing in the subway can be a little more intense than playing on the stage. On the stage I have 45 minutes to entertain people and in the subway I have about 15-45 seconds.
 When asked to categorize his style, Mayers explains:
I would describe my style as being haunting and nostalgic. There’s an empathetic resonance to my music that reads as genuine and heartfelt. It’s stripped down, just vocals and guitar. I think when you keep music simple it can pass through all the normal filters and hit your soul.
In March of this year, Mayers released his fourth album entitled This is Not an Album.

   Femme Fatale - Gabriel Mayers 

  Like a Rolling Stone - Gabriel Mayers

  One More Cup of Coffee - Gabriel Mayers

If you liked to hear more of Gabriel Royal's work, here's a chance to listen to his digital album.
I can't really tell you which track I like the best, probably the first one. It seems well-suited for a Sunday afternoon.

I hope this musical sanity break brings you peace of mind. Have a wonderful Sunday.