Music on the Water, Amsterdam Netherlands
|It’s a cold, dreary day in Amsterdam. The wind blows constantly, breaking through my jacket and sending chills through my body. A spitting rain falls intermittently.
My school group and I are only spending one day in the city, and we’ve been waiting in line outside to tour the Anne Frank House for three hours.
As if the weather hasn’t brought our spirits down enough, the impending visitation of a site with such a dark past hardly seems like a respite to look forward to.
Tempers are short and patience is running thin. No one talks to one another. I don’t want to spend my only day in Amsterdam sulking, but there seems to be nothing redeemable about this situation.
Suddenly the sullen soundtrack of rain and wind is interrupted. There’s music in the air.
A bright and brassy melody sounds from nearby. I look to the neighboring canal and find a garishly colorful shape breaking through the quagmire.
As my eyes focus, I realize it’s a clown, floating on the water in a paddleboat. He plays a golden bronze euphonium. Carefree melodies float from the bell of his horn and dance in the air.
But then he lowers his instrument, the song left incomplete. I’m puzzled for an instance, but suddenly I hear the same music in the distance, a continuation of where the clown had left off.
I turn my head in the direction of the sound, and find a musician stationed at the top of the nearby bell tower. Although he’s not dressed as a clown, he too holds a golden bronze euphonium. The musician finishes his part, leaving it open for a response from the clown.
For the next ten minutes or so, the musicians seem to carry a conversation through their notes. As their discourse progresses, the speed and complexity of their music intensifies, but this progression never sacrifices the infectious, cheerful melodies.
By now the demeanor of my school group has made quite the turn-around. People are talking again. We laugh, smile, and start to remember where we are and how amazing it is.
As the duo finishes their performance, a thunderous applause erupts from the crowd that awaits entry into the Anne Frank house. The rain and wind, though still present, feel like a distant memory.
We laugh, smile, and start to remember where we are and how amazing it is
Author: Tanner Hackney
Author Bio: Mr. Hackney is a Junior Journalism and Marketing
student at American University. His travels have taken him to England, France,
Germany, Canada, Spain, and the Netherlands.
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