Welcome to Rome. The city where wherever you go, you will run into some kind of musical talent. Rome is a great city that has many different types of these musical performers. I have seen them everywhere, on the bus, the tram, the metro, while you’re dining at a restaurant, when you’re walking down the street they are there; violin players, accordion players, guitar player’s even instruments that I have never seen are being played throughout all of Rome. Although there are many different people with their instruments you seem to get familiar with “regulars.” Some of these are fun to watch and listen to, however others are a bit what I would call bothersome.
Here in Trastevere (neighborhood we live in) we happen to have our regular, “the famous accordion lady”. The mornings are started up not by our day-to-day alarms but rather by the sound of the tram stopping right outside of our apartment. The tram stops, the doors open and out comes the sound of a forceful woman’s voice and the accordion. It would be great if each morning it were a different tune or song, but its every day it is the same old song at the same time. The greatest thing about “the famous accordion lady” is that if you are lucky enough you are able to catch her on the tram on your way to and from school. Even though we do get bothered some by “the famous accordion lady”, I believe that she could have a great future like those of the musicians in the film L’Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio.
The film L’Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio is about a group of Italian artists and intellectuals who decide they want to save the old cinema Teatro Apollo. The group went around Rome to find talented musicians to create an orchestra. The artists were from different lifestyles, cultural traditions and religions that are interwoven in everyday Roman life especially in the quarter surrounding Piazza Vittorio, which is home to many immigrant communities. This dream project began in 2001 and within several years, and after many difficulties they became successful.
Another artist that would be a great addition to such an orchestra is the violinist that also plays on the tram. He doesn’t play as often as the accordion lady does but he sure does know how to work the violin. However, the best guy that I’ve seen perform yet is one who plays on the street. He differs from those of the tram because he has people come to him drawn by the simplicity and awesomeness of his music.
In the end, I believe that if someone were willing to follow in the footsteps of L’Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio and continue bringing together Rome’s street musicians one could create a new and original group. They could start with the the violin guy, the guy who plays on the street or even “the famous accordion lady’’. This could be the start of another successful story of how the city offers opportunities to combine different cultures and talents.