Travel With a Song began a few years ago as a hobby project: sometimes I would sing into my mobile phone, recording my surroundings. A pretty street, a square, a river, and such. See a couple of posts here.
I thought it would be interesting to show these towns and landscapes to others as well, catching the mood with my own voice. I sing whatever comes to my mind right there and then, and through the camera, you can see all what I am seeing, and you can listen to it as if you would be standing right beside me. This was the very first one, exactly 7 years ago at Easter, outside Stockholm, Sweden:
Isn’t this such an exceptional, unique idea? Most probably it is (I haven’t seen anything similar to it so far). For some reason though, my project has not become so successful: I have videos that nobody else have watched beside me although I have published it on YouTube, shared it on Facebook and other places. But I did not really promote the whole thing that much, therefore it is not a shame if this is the first time you hear about it.
However, all the failure did not break my spirits, I developped the experiment further: I created downloadable songs from the soundtrack of several videos and made albums of the materials of a few towns, with bonus videos and photos. For example:
Result: in the past half a year, 1 (one) song was downloaded, for EUR 0.5, of which I received 0.34 (that bought me one small piece of a Hungarian dessert, not much bigger than the size of my pointer finger. In six months).
Of course, every now and then I got the feedback on Facebook “You have such a beautiful voice, Andrea!” – which is indeed a very kind thing to say.
Somehow I felt like let’s don’t enforce something that doesn’t work…
Fast forward: last week, after the burning of the Notre Dame in Paris, I re-evaluated a few things. Read this short story: Budapest, Paris
This was when I got the inspiration: if I can make people so happy by only that they are listening to me for a few minutes, and they tell me so many times that my singing makes the place so special, I make it more beautiful, magical – then probably this is what I have to do!
Obviously, the same happens at “ordinary” performances on the stage too, but when I stand somewhere in a street, a square, just by myself with a single voice, and when strangers from the other end of the world, from who knows which remote countries, come up to me (very often with tears in their eyes, they are touched so much), that this was the most wonderful, most memorable moment or experience that they got in this town – then yes, probably this is what I should be doing.
And we are not talking about just any cities, but some of the most beautiful and visited tourist destinations in Europe: Prague, Vienna, Budapest, or the Czech Karlovy Vary, and the fairy tale Cesky Krumlov. A wedding song from Upper Hungary (today it is in Slovakia), a lullaby from Transylvania, or a Croatian soldier song from Burgenland (Eastern part of Austria) – of which that Russian lady, the Japanese elderly woman or the Holland couple wouldn’t understand one single word, but they are all moved when they thank to me.
So now I decided: instead of breaking an arm to get shows, or go to the X Factor and make a shiny career as a diva on the stage (which I might do sometime later, when I feel that is my road), now I will hit the road again to roam Europe (to start with) and I will be singing in the streets.
I have done this a lot, but this time it will be something different.
Travel With a Song, reloaded
A “normal” street performer sings or plays because this is a free life, a great adventure, an awesome way to travel the world and meet people, and make money, amounts may vary. Obviously.
But yours truly has never toed the line, that’s why now:
The Artist, the Singer, Andrea Gerák (over fifty), sets on the road all by herself, to create a more pleasant mood, uplifting atmosphere and feeling, put a smile on the faces of people, tears in their eyes, joy in their hearts.
Perhaps I can do something for that this extremely rich, colorful continent would become a little bit more peaceful, calmer, happier. We can call this the mission.
“Where there is music, there is no evil” – Cervantes.
I take myself and my songs, hoping that I can give something wherever it is needed and wanted, and where they receive it with love.
Logistics have never been my strength, so my route and schedule are flexible. I am looking at many gorgeous cities, towns and villages that I would love to visit or re-visit, mainly in various parts of Europe. Later, maybe somewhere else, too. Now I start here in Budapest, and will set off in the direction of Austria, Czechia. I will try to concentrate on historical towns, cultural treasures, gems of architecture – while it is still possible…
I would love to start as soon as I can, already now after Easter. The end date is open; I might even dedicate the rest of the whole year to this.
Simple: I pick a nice settlement, I get there somehow (bus, train, car-share, and I would even absolutely love a kick-bike! (I can’t really ride a bicycle these days because of my legs, but such a vehicle would be perfect on shorter distances).
I find a lovely spot, a street, square, corner with good acoustics in a lovely town, and I start singing. I put out a sign with the basic info so that people would know what is happening, a box for the money, and a guestbook.
As usual, I will be singing mainly folk songs, naturally, Hungarian ones, but in my repertoire I have tunes of other nations as well, and I will seek to expand the list with a few songs of the country or the region, wherever I will be. Also, I sing evergreens, pop ballades or musicals, according to the occasion or the mood.
I document my journey with videos, photos, stories, showing you what I see and hear, and what people hear from me, and I will share it here. We can suppose that with the stories and pictures, there will be enough material for at least one book and there are ideas for future use of the sound and video recordings, too.
With my lovely audience, last autumn in Cesky Krumlov:
And this is what I saw while singing, same town, another location:
Of course, I will be performing at indoor locations too: churches, chapels, galeries, castles, and many more. I can imagine singing in hospitals, orphanages, Hungarian communities…
Also, it might happen that I make the audience sing along, love it when others sing with me, it makes my heart overflow.
*****Do you want to support?*****
If you like this idea and would like to contribute, you can do it in any of the several ways below. It would be so much easier, if I didn’t need to sing in the streets to make the money for my food & shelter, but I could concentrate with my performance to spend my energy on giving others an uplifting experience, and also, beside singing I will have more time to share all the adventures of this Travel With a Song project.
Therefore I will be very grateful, if you show your support with whatever you are able and willing to.
- Via PayPal, any amount, nothing is too small (or too big),
- On my Ko-fi page, 1, 2, 3… cups of virtual coffee,
- Bank account: IBAN: CZ0420100000002001008943
BIC/SWIFT: FIOBCZPPXXX, Fio banka, Andrea Gerák
- Practical help with things that might come up during such a trip: a ride when you have a free space in your car, accommodation, or maybe you have an hour that you could spend filming, etc. I will let the world know when I need something.
- Tell me, if you have an idea for where I could sing: event, school, 5 minutes break at your work place, a fabulous town where you think a few songs would sound beautifully.
- If you see me, hear me somewhere, please come to me and say hello, I will be glad 🙂
Thank you very much in advance for everything!!
Bye for now, with this:
— Love, Andrea
AndreaGerák (also spelled as Gerak) is a traveling artist from Hungary, mostly known as a singer. She is also photographing, dancing, writing, sometimes acting or modeling, and forever learning through her journey in the world. Her attention turned to health matters after a cancer surgery in 2008. Proud mom of a big boy.