Street Player, Beijing

I sat a while and watched this street musician in a hutong (old neighborhood) near the Drum Tower in Beijing, listening to his melodious but wistful sound. He was in a very small alley without much traffic, and I got the feeling he wasn’t really looking for an audience, he just liked to play. He was blind in one eye, very quiet and subdued, and his old blue Mao jacket matched his ancient face.

He stopped to tune his instrument and a common scene suddenly became perfect. His hand went to the top of the strings, out of the picture, and his head bent the opposite direction as he listened for very slight tone changes. The bow and the neck formed a beautifully inclined right angle. As he did this, something about him was revealed. (Price Schedule G)

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