Make Music New York 2010

Today, all across New York, music filled the streets. From borough to borough, musicians of all types performed for free in public places — over eight hundred events in all. The music started as early as 11 AM and went well into the night.

Make Music New York, now in its fourth year, is just one of over 300 similar events taking place all over the globe, celebrating the first day of summer. I was only fortunate enough to witness a couple of musical acts today, but the energy you could feel by just walking across the street was spectacular. Even when no music was audible, it was as if you could feel the music in the air. Unbridled creativity. Freedom. And a great way to start summer.

At the Knitting Factory Brooklyn, located in the heart of hipster heaven in Williamsburg, an unusual assortment of acts were presented. When I arrived, I was greeted by a cacophony of improvisation. A sort of minimalistic, tribal free jazz/noise group, was skronking and swooshing on the street to passersby who expressed both confusion and delight. In between songs, players switched instruments. It even seemed as if people who were just watching on the street picked up guitars and joined in.

Inside the front room of the Knitting Factory, a hippie nightingale named Mollie King and a moody songstress named Tara Angell played back-to-back solo sets, like two sides of a coin, dark and light. Then, to finish off my evening, I witnessed men dressed in capes and wigs rocking out with a Nintendo and a Commodore 64. What could have made this day of music any better?