|Song title||Amira Willighagen and Vincent van Hessen: 'Ave Maria' by Johann Sebastian Bach and Charles Gounod|
|Tags||Guitar (Musical Instrument), Guitarist (Profession), Street Performance (Literature Subject), Brussels (City/Town/Village), Opera (Composition Type), Baroque Music (Musical Genre), Singer-songwriter (Profession), Singing (Musical Instrument), Charles Gounod (Composer), Ave Maria (Composition), Amira Willighagen, Johann Sebastian Bach (Composer), Music (TV Genre), Ana, Piano, Classical, Classical Period (Musical Genre), Composer (Profession), Concerto, Paula, Orchestra|
My name is Vincent van Hessen and I'm a professional musician.
I play venues such as clubs, festivals, cruise ships but first and foremost,
I predominantly street perform
Street performing gives the artist a direct contact with a crowd of people that willfully chooses to listen and watch a spectacle because the opportunity presents itself,
and not because of a pre planned agreement such as attending a concert on any given occasion.
As a street performer, I have the ability to hold a crowd, sometimes up to 300 people at a time, which is very pleasant and it creates an intimacy which manifests itself in a very subtle and unusual way.
During the course of this unusual career, I have encountered very interesting moments but also some unpleasant ones,
for example: having to deal with drunks, mentally ill people, "tough" adolescents and every now and then, a 'wannabe', which is a situation in which random people, come up to me, totally expecting that they can just come over to me and demand they would play a song during one of my street shows, because they are such "great" performers themselves.
My advise to these people usually is: "make your own street show, if you're so awesome and please let me pursue doing mine, thank you".
On Sunday June 21st, 2015, a bearded man approached me, while I was singing a medley of; Sexual healing/Ave Maria/Blowing in the wind. (Marvin Gaye/J.S. Bach/Bob Dylan).
I totally disregarded him and kept singing, because I wasn't planning to stop a song because someone so much needs the attention at that particular moment,
mainly while about 50 other people are enjoying the music.
So he waited politely, standing very close to me, and when I finished the medley
he said: "I have a young star here and she'd like to sing with you" and my thought was: "oh another one of these wannabe's..."
I answered: "Look man! I'm in a middle of a show here,
let's do it later
(hoping he would get lost)", but he insisted: " No mister, she's awesome, you won't regret. it's a once in a life time chance, and she'd like to do the 'Ave Maria' with you, as you have performed it a minute ago."
While I thought:" From all songs, the wannabe would like to do the 'Ave Maria?"
This went on for a few minutes till I finally agreed, and said:"Bring her over!".
I saw a little girl, sweet looking, a little shy, she said hello politely and I asked in which key she would like to perform the Ave Maria'. She consulted her father in Dutch for a minute, wondering whether the key was F or G, and her father replied: "Amira, best if you do it in G!"
And that's when it hit me, pretty much like lightning, who I was dealing with...
I had seen Amira Willighagen on the Dutch TV in the talent show 'Hollands got talent', a few years prior to this occasion, and as a classically trained guitarist, who knows a thing or two about classical music, I was very very impressed and taken aback by her talent to say the least, so my heart thumped, it maybe even stood still for a second, but I knew I will just have to do it now, a 'do or die' kind of situation,
to perform a song with an ultra talented singer of 11 years old...
I must add, upon hearing Amira sing I had to focus really hard on my guitar playing because I was so awe struck by her voice.
The video was shot by a friend of mine, but the i- Phone had no more memory space, so it cuts 20 seconds prior to the last 'Amen' in the 'Ave Maria',
so with the aid of another friend, we edited a different end, because luckily,
there were around 100 people standing around us, watching and listening, in absolute amazement to this spectacle we incidentally created, on the streets of Brussels city center, while quite a few of them were filming this 'once in a life time' opportunity,
on that windy and chilly Sunday, early in the afternoon,
June 2015 in Brussels Belgium.