Initiation. It was Saturday. A rainy day. I had finished playing the weekly football match we used to unfold in the courtyard of the Favorit kindergarten and we were all ready to go home. Silviu invited me over to show me how he had managed to put a song from The Other Words on guitar. I had thought that about music for a long time, meaning that it had to be put on. From cassettes and records. At the time I could-n?t have imagined that I would have been able of creating a song. As modest as it would have come out? If you had told me that somebody knew how to sing, that would have automatically meant for me that he knew all the usual mountaineer hits. And that was it.
We went upstairs, at Silviu?s, in OS-1 block and he played me a song that really impressed me. While my ears were following Silviu, my eyes got caught by a handicraft whistle, like the ones you find in Sinaia and Predeal. Red and with some carved ornaments. Even if common, that thing meant a lot to me. It practically changed my life. It gave meaning to this long way we all take from dippers to coffin. It made me a musician. It gave me the possibility to meet interesting people, who taught me various things. It took me all over the country, to Greece, Italy, Hungary and Serbia. As a matter of fact, that glimpse, that peep made these memories possible.
So, seeing that handicraft whistle, I asked Silviu if he wanted us to try Whistle Bud, Phoenix?s song. What we got was a mishmash, but our immature grown-up irresponsibility made us feel happy. Till I left, and that was late in the evening, we managed to produce some other famous refrains. I with the whistle and Silviu with the guitar. ?I have a weird whistle at the countryside, not like this one.?- ?What do you means weird??- ?Well, it has more holes and it is bigger than this one. It is foreign.? ??Foreign?? ??Yes, yes, foreign. German or something like that. My cousin used to play it. The Painter. It sounds like a flute, it is brilliant. I?ll bring it to you maybe you learn how to play it. I think it also covers more musical notes. I have to go to the countryside next week and I?ll bring it with me.?
This is how I got my hands on the first blockflöte- how the Germans usually call it- of my life. It was the spring of 1992. Then others and others followed. Forerunner of the flute, that blockflöte was an instrument very famous during the baroque age. There is an impressive musical literature dedicated to it. Suffice it to mention Bach. Nowadays there is a tendency in music consisting of the reinterpretation of the scores of those times using instruments built by the modern string-instrument makers following the patterns of the respective age. You can see it ? the right flute ? every week on Mezzo. If you can get this channel.
In a few weeks we would have ended up in the street. I cannot even remember how we got the idea. I must have seen it in some movie. Silviu, Alecu, Tibi, Jean and I. All guitarists, apart from me. We only knew three songs we kept on rehearsing. Like a barrel-organ. Whistle Bud, Fade to Back-one of Metallica?s songs on flute, can you imagine?- and a blues Alecu had shown us. We had been the first to take to the streets and play. I am not saying it in order to brag. I am just stating facts. Of course that we represented a model for other generations of musicians who abandoned their inhibitions and started singing down the streets, but we opened the path.
Between 1992 and 1994 we had been the first street singers.