Street sounds


Our newest blogger, Antonia Leise, came to Radboud University from Germany for a psychology bachelor programme. Aditionally, she started an English literature programme at the open university. In her blog, she writes about her life as a student and her relationship with music. Every two weeks, Antonia will add the songs she writes about to the Spotify playlist below. This way, she creates a soundtrack to her time in Nijmegen.

I always had a thing for street music. Firstly, because it’s like a soundtrack to your life, that can be accessed without wearing headphones. And secondly, because I am still utterly fascinated by people standing in a corner and playing a tune that is there for a moment and lost in the next. To be completely fair, I grew up in a very, very, very small village in probably the most boring part of Germany. People in the street in general fascinate me. I’m still getting used to them.

But the brief moment of music that appears when you are walking past an one-man-concert in the streets, makes up the whole beauty of it. You’re not prepared to get overthrown by the magic, but suddenly you’re into a song, a line that speaks to you, a tone, that you never heard that way before. And as fast as you started listening, it’s over. You’re past the corner of the street, because you need to get somewhere. Or the musician sang the last song, because, well, nothing lasts forever.

If you like music – and to be completely honest: who doesn’t? – Nijmegen is an excellent place to be. A lot of concerts that can be visited, record-stores that can be rummaged through, and bigger cities, close enough to be visited for more concerts and more record stores. But the true beauty of Nijmegen’s music is how spontaneous it is.

Sometimes you find a song and sometimes a song finds you. And if you are very lucky, both those things happen at the same time. That’s what happened to me some weeks before the Summer holidays, while enjoying the last free afternoons before the final exams. An acoustic concert in front of LUX, music that I found and music that found me. It was beautiful. The lyrics, the singer’s voice, the brief moment, that couldn’t be preserved – only enjoyed. Thanks to Google and Spotify, I was able to actually find the singer, Ian Fisher, who gave the concert that evening. The moment slipped through my fingers the minute the concert was over – and that is completely okay, because the best things do. But when thinking and listening back now, I feel like I kept a little piece of it anyways.

You never know when music really touches your heart, but sometimes it simply does. When you go from hearing to listening, and from listening to feeling, and from feeling to understanding. Sometimes, all you need are open eyes and ears, to get a consciousness for music’s value. And then, a single song can get you through a failed exam or a missed due-date for a paper. If life gives you lemons, make lemonade, settle down somewhere and try to listen.

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