"Street Performance"


Page 1. The World On A String. Volume 4 number 5. CC BY-SA Ken Alleman 2020. [Defunct link.] Panel 1. MacCormac and Maryam sit on the floor in their pajamas. They're surrounded by guitar pedals, patch cables, and the like. An unfinished pedalboard is in front of them. Maryam says, "Early on, when I'd only been playing a few years, I was browsing in the guitar shop." An editorial comment clarifies: playing the really expensive guitars. Panel 2. Extreme foreground view of three women in the guitar shop. Maryam says, "Three beautiful women walked in." Panel 3. The three women are singing. One of them plays a guitar. Maryam says, "One of them picked up a guitar. They started singing together in perfect harmony." Panel 4. Maryam looks on with stars in her eyes. She says, "I was stunned. For such a moment to happen, with such spontaneity, like they came into the guitar shop and started singing just because they felt like it." An editorial comment reveals that, out of frame, she is holding a $4,000 guitar.

Page 2. Panel 1. Maryam walks along. She says, "As years passed, I realized it wasn't spontaenous at all. It must have been a planned performance, with rehearsal and everything." Panel 2. Back to our three women in the shop. Nearby, the shopkeeper waits only somewhat patiently for them to finish. Maryam says, "I don't think the shop was in on it. It was planned, but not authorized." An editorial comment clarifies that authorized means endorsed by the authorities, typically out of self-interest. Panel 3. Maryam is performing by herself under a tree next to a parking lot. She has a small amp and small pedalboard. She says, "Thus I began a life of guerilla musical performances. I started small." Panel 4. Maryam is now performing on a street corner. In the foreground, a cop car is rolling by. Maryam says, "I packed gear with a small footprint, that was easy to set up and tear down." Panel 5. Same view, except Maryam now has a bigger setup and two other musicians with her. Again, there is a cop car in the panel. Maryam says, "It's easier to make music with a little help from your friends, though it's tempting to let the scale of the performances get out of hand."

Page 3. Panel 1. Maryam's foot is stepping on her small pedalboard. She says, "Keep your footprint tight and your volume low. Know the local nuisance ordinances." Panel 2. Maryam is on the phone with the beleaguered shopkeeper, who is saying "Fine." He seems as though it is not fine. Maryam says, "As a courtesy, you can even notify nearby businesses of when you'll be playing." Panel 3. Back to the street view with the cop car. Maryam says, "Don't be an obstacle to business as usual for the people around you. And if the police approach you, stay calm." Panel 4. Closeup view of Maryam unplugging her pedals. She says, "Silence your instruments. Begin tearing down immediately." Panel 5. A cop is talking to Maryam, who silently shrugs. Maryam says, "If they speak to you, tell them politely that you don't have time." Panel 6. Maryam says, "If they detain you, tell them you choose to remain silent and you don't consent to any searches." Panel 7. Maryam is sitting on the curb. The bumper of the cop car is visible in the foreground. She says, "And tell them you want a lawyer. Stay free if you can. If not, try to stay safe." Panel 8. Black panel. Maryam says, "Tragically, there are those who were robbed of both." Panel 9. Silent panel. The cop car is driving off, Maryam still sitting on the curb.

Page 4. Panels 1 and 2. Recapping various views of Maryam's street performances. Maryam says, "There may be a point when someone asks you to leave. Be cool about this! For this reason, it's best to keep your show small scale." Panel 3. Back to our three women in the guitar shop. Maryam says, "The more quickly you can set up, the more quickly you can leave." Panels 4 and 5. Closeup of MacCormac and Maryam's pedalboard, now complete, followed by a screen view of Maryam and MacCormac performing via livestream. Maryam says, "And, above all, have fun!"

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