Maestro Moses Josiah, the Master Sawyer

Maestro Moses Josiah, the Master Sawyer

A couple of entries back, I talked fondly of a street performer who played a saw. I hadn’t seen him in over 2 years. The thought of that troubled me. He’s not a young man by any means, so I wanted to know if he was ok and still working. And as you might tell, there he is again. At the same spot as usual. Even before I arrived there, I can hear the saw wailing above the crowd.

As you approach you swear an operatic soprano is pouring its heart out in the distance. You can’t tell of its direction as the walls of the underground are vast and confusing. The pitch waves and beds as you begin to realize the singing is not of human origin.
A clearing opens up, revealing a four rail subway station. An old man is bending a saw over his knee, gently stroking its side with a bow. The saw is singing the lyrical melody of Imagine, as he consoles its sorrow with a gentle caress of his bow.

You hear this tune often with our street performers. They understand that this song is deeply rooted into New Yorkers. It’s deeply rooted in the street performers as well. It triggers an emotional reaction in people. It’s a song that tugs at strings. Many types of strings. So they must learn it. It is our duty as people and artists to tug on these strings. Inspire each other. It teaches us about ourselves.

Moses, you look like you’ve lost some weight. But I’m glad you’re healthy and working. Until we meet again, I’ll save that buck for you.

Click to enlarge!


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