Magic in bottles

赫爾辛基,一切也是陽光明媚。太陽眷戀這片土地,從早上5時到零晨1時一直沒有離開。和煦的天氣讓赫爾辛基的街頭變得非常熱鬧,街頭表演者在人群簇擁下也特別起勁。來自聖彼得堡的Feodor Grigorev是其中一人。

坐在Aleksanterinkatu大街上奏起他手做的玻璃瓶琴,時而敲出柴可夫斯基的第四交響曲,時而響起Aram Khachaturian節奏明快的Sabre Dance,但無論身邊圍了多少途人,Grigorev還是一臉悠然自得--因為音樂雖然是他的工作,但同樣是他最享受的一件事情。

Helsinki, everything is bright and beautiful. Sun shine lingers in this northern capital, from 5am til 1am, the sky is never dark. Warm weather brings life to this city, everyone flocks to the street for some vitamin D; street performers are filled with extra energy, celebrating the season in their own ways. Feodor Grigorev from St. Petersburg is one of them.

你是從何時開始當上街頭表演者的?

音樂從來都是我的生命。家中五兄弟全都是樂手,我跟其中一個弟弟是敲擊樂的、兩個吹手風琴、一個吹小號,母親年輕時也是彈鋼琴的。從事音樂工作本來就是自然不過的事,年輕時就一起在街演過,後來我當過搖滾樂手一段時間,直至1999年才決定當個全職街頭表演者。喜歡街頭表演,因為自由,何時開始何時結束完全按心意而定,而更重要是,音樂是我最愛的事情,能以這樣的方式賺錢,夫復何求?

When did you become a street performer?

Music has always been part of my life. Four of my brothers are all musicians: one of my brother and I are percussionists; two of them play accordion and one plays trumpet, even my mom was a pianist when she was young. Working with music seems natural to me, we used to perform on the street together when we were young and we loved it. I worked as a rock musician for few years but decided to become a street performer in 1999. I have a lot of freedom as a street musician. I can start work when suitable. If things are going well and I feel like playing longer than planned I can also do that.But most important, I do what I love, which is play music. This allows me to connect with people, to touch them. I can’t actually imagine a better job!

何時開始以玻璃瓶琴表演?

大概是2012的夏天吧,地點就是赫爾辛基,此前我以表演馬林巴木琴為主,可是時間長了,我和聽眾都覺得嫌倦了,所以就想到發明什麼新樂器吧﹗我在youTube搜捕資料時,發現原來也有人做過玻璃瓶琴,我就按自己的習慣做了一個。選用竹子當框架因為它們夠輕、夠穩固。

When did you start performing with the water bottles xylophone?

I began performing at the bottle xylophone in 2012, in Helsinki, in the summer. Before that, I played marimba a few years on the streets of Helsinki, and that’s fed up me and the public. All ever get bored. I researched it in Youtube and found a couple of other musicians who had one, one in Zagreb and one in Vienna. I then made my own. I chose bamboo for the frame because it is both light and strong.

你是在表演前才把琴架起來的嗎?

對,竹架和瓶子都是表演前組裝的,每次也要花40分鐘左右。

Do you assemble the instrument on spot?

Yes, I transport my instrument disassembled , I assemble it on spot, it takes about 40 minutes.

花了多長時間才改良好自己的玻璃瓶琴?

每天也在改良啊,只要找到合適的玻璃瓶,就會馬上更換,低音的玻璃瓶一玻難求!其實琴架的配置跟一般鋼琴無異,下排就是白鍵; 上排就是升半音或降半音。一般來說,一天我會表演6小時,冬天短一些,4小時左右,因為氣溫只有零下15度﹗瓶中的水不結冰就要就加點酒精!

How long does it take you to perfect the instrument?

I perfect my xylophone up to that moment: when I find the right bottle, I add it to the “lower part of the register." Bottles with low sound are quite rare, this is some problem …The bottles are located in the same system as the keys on a piano: Lower – “white" , line on top – sharps and flats. I play for 6 hours in one sitting, maybe a bit less in winter, some 4 hours per sitting. In winter I have to add an alcohol de-freezer to the water and I will play with up to -15 degrees celsius!

不用表演的時候都在做什麼?

不在赫爾辛基表演時,我家在聖彼得堡,跟太太、7歲兒子和一對從孤兒院接來的寄養兄妹同住(一個12歲;一個8歲)。平常的生活跟大家一樣,都是安排小孩的大小事情,帶他們上學、看醫生等。有天我希望可以放下這些責任和簽證的限制,隨心所欲環遊世界。現在一年就是一半時間在赫爾辛基,一半在聖彼得堡。

What do you do when you are not performing?

When I’m not playing in Helsinki, I live in St. Petersburg. I have a wife, son 7 years old and two foster children: brother and sister , 12 and 8 years old, taken from an orphanage. Daily routine take pretty much: it is necessary to supervise a school, a music school, a visit to the doctors, and other things… Someday I’d like to go travel the world free from the imposed by the today of obligatory and visa restrictions .. Today I spend half my life in St. Petersburg, half – in Helsinki.

從1999年開始街頭表演十多年,這個決定如何改變了你的人生?

我也不清楚街頭表演有沒有改變我的人生,因為⋯⋯我一直都懶散又不喜歡被人控制 :)但其實街頭樂手也不是一份優差。有時候我拿著零錢到咖啡店換,店員都很訝異:200歐羅一天?一年30,000歐羅嗎?你發達啦﹗我也想去表演﹗可是他們沒有想過每天坐在街上,風雪不改,其實沒有想像那麼容易。當愛好成了工作,最初會很開心,但久而久之也會乏味,休息對於我來說,是轉換勞動的方式,例如在郊野種種士多啤梨。

I have read that since 1999, you have been a street performer full time, how did it change your life?

I’m not sure that the street playing music changed my life, I think that the way I was, and remained so: indolent and authoritarian.) But seriously, the work of a street musician – quite hard work. When I go to the cafe to change a little money, cafe workers often are surprised: «200 euros for one day? That’s 30,000 euro in the year? You are rich man! Also I want so!..» They do not think that constantly sit on the street, in spite of the rain or snow – it is not the same as at home on the couch .. When passion turns into profession, first the man is happy, then he gets used to do it and takes it like granted.. The rest for me is a change of activity, such as digging a flower bed under the strawberries in the country.

表演什麼歌最多打賞?

哈哈,流行電影的主題曲最受歡迎,很多也是滄海遺珠了。想像突然在街頭上聽到年輕時或兒時愛聽的音樂,那種微小的感動。我相信是音樂觸動到大家的靈魂,才會在我的小箱子裡投錢。

What kind of song get more tips?

The most “cash" works – it’s the music from popular films, often old and almost forgotten. A man walks down the street and suddenly hear music from his youth or childhood … I want to believe that tinkles of the coins into the box have the reasons of touchs to the souls…

有人在街上跟你Jam歌對唱過嗎?

我跟一位歌手和一位芬蘭樂手合作過,他是敲碗盤的,跟我的玻璃瓶特別配,絕對是場小型先峰音樂會。

Anyone tried to jam with you while you perform? With instrument or singing?

I have been playing together, I played with the singer, I also have a joint performance with a Finnish musician playing the pans, bowls and plates, it was a small avant-garde show.

對於你來就,怎樣才算好生活?最重要的是什麼?

好生活就是自由自主,愛怎樣就怎樣。不設限、旅遊、回家、尊重和愛身邊的人,都是一種自由。跟親朋共享時光也是一種幸福。

What constitute a good life to you? What is the most important thing?

The good life for me – to have the freedom. Open borders. Travels. Homecoming. Respect, love the people are close to me. Time, belong to me, the opportunity to share them with loved ones.

 

Words: Emmy So

 

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