It has been a while since the last article. I have been on a trip to Prague, Check Republic, so I was not able to write new articles. To make up for lost time, I have decided to write a special addition to the Journal of a Musician series. Without any further ado, let’s see what I have prepared for you.
Travelling is a very rewarding and interesting activity. Don’t we all love to explore new lands, see what we have not seen before and taste what we have never before tasted? I consider myself as an adventure enthusiast and naturally I am very curious. Combine those two with my passion for music and you get a musical journey in every city I visit.
Once you visit a city such as Prague, you cannot but admire the history and the hard work of the people. It has been protected from the destructive forces of wars. Hence their art, including music, has been preserved for more than a thousand years. That fact has enriched the cultural value of the city and is largely responsible for its strong music scene.
The city literally has hundreds of concert halls, music clubs and historically important places for music such as the home of Bedřich Smetana. Prague is the host events of tremendous music value, such as the Spring International Music Festival, International Jazz Festival and the International Organ Festival. The performers on the street also add to the great vibe when they play traditional Check music or international hits.
You can feel the strong music presence on the streets. As you walk through the city and admire some of the most jaw-dropping architectural achievements, you cannot help but feel inspired to create. You find the inspiration which so many artists have used as fuel for their work.
Let me share a personal experience.
I was mindlessly walking through the city, trying to soak the beauty. After some time, I managed to stumble upon an antiquity store. I think they are always worth a visit since you really have no idea what you might find.
I enter the store and my first impression was: “Wow this is messy.” There are books all over the place, some in English, Check, Russian… There are also some cool souvenirs and paintings. I take a look around and soon I become disappointed. No vinyl records.
I don’t give up just yet. I ask the manager whether they have any used vinyl records, anything that might be of value to me. She smiles and takes me to a back room. I follower her and see almost a 100 vinyl records scattered across the floor. According to her story, she said she wanted to organize them but never had the time.
Vinyl records spark a flame in me, like anyway, so the next thing I know, I’m rummaging through the records with notable awe on my face. Names like Mozart, Smetana, Bach, and Vivaldi go through my head as I browse through the collection. You can see the vinyl records are not newly released but real antiquities, surely dating back to the 50’s or 60’s, if not sooner.
You know what the best thing? These used vinyl records costed literally less than $2. I choose 10 classical works I am most fond of and add them to my vinyl collection. Imagine that, 10 vinyl records for only $20. What a bargain!
My musical journey with vinyl records does not stop there. Not far from the antiquity shop I find another vinyl records store. I was lost in my thoughts with the new vinyl records, imagining how I will play them on my turntable when I get home, when my friend wakes me up from my fantasies. We were standing in front of a vinyl record shop.
There is a distinct feeling of respect when you come into a vinyl record shop. You cannot but admire the amount of art located in one place. I look through this collection and I find a lot of rock and roll vinyl records, along with some jazz and blues classics. I already bought 10 vinyl records but I still felt the urge to expand my collections.
Unfortunately the prices were not as favorable as in the antiquities shop. The price of an average vinyl was around $10. It is a good price but I did not find anything I was looking for.
My journey continued the next few days and almost every day I found a music shop/ vinyl record shop. This came as a huge shock to me, since I come from a city without a single vinyl record store.
I will definitely never forget what happened on the last day of my trip.
I was going to the city when I saw a small sign saying “Largest vinyl store in Prague” and an arrow pointing in its direction. How could have I missed this? I definitely did not want to go back without seeing the store.
I walk down a flight of stairs while I excitingly looked for the store. I saw a small entrance and thought to myself: “The biggest vinyl shop in Prague? The place looks like it can barely fit anything inside.”
I was so wrong.
A three story music shop was located inside. The small entrance fooled me and I was literally left speechless for a few minutes. I just stared at the vinyl records, the CD’s, turntables, band merchandise and more.
I cared most for vinyl records so I went to that section. Thousands upon thousands of vinyl records were carefully organized around me. It was by far the biggest collection I had ever seen.
I arrived there one hour before closing time and remained until I was kindly asked to leave. I had a chance to see some of the rarest vinyl records I wanted to buy. Unfortunately, my budget was very low the last day so I could not afford the expensive $30 – $40 vinyl records.
I hope you enjoyed reading my travel experience. Feel free to share it anywhere you want!