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Musica Sconosciuta

While wandering Cefalu the other weekend, I heard a lovely tonal hum and soft percussive thumps of a street musician cutting through the slow-moving crowd in front of me. The sound alternatively dropped into the rhythms of Italian and French around me and pulsed through the parting of the crowds as I neared the musician. His modest look and handsome face together with the beautiful noise stilled my feet; caught in the moment, I stopped and stared. As I regained my senses, I reached for my camera, caught his eye, and with his slight nod, began attempting to capture the serene stillness emanating from him and his music. It was the sort of stillness that rises out of unknown sounds, the ever-present heartbeat you can’t hear when you’re in a crowd, the ribbon of calm that leads you through fields of adrenaline and exhaustion as a runner finishing a race. His hands were in constant motion, and passersby steadily chipped into his offering tray, as did I. The moment passed, my group had moved ahead, and I felt a stirring renewal of curiosity and compassion for the unknown histories of my contemporaries in this life.

Unknown music, “musica sconosciuta.”

Cefalu, Sicily
September 2012

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Filed under 5-100, Awesomeness, Travel