Jillian Weller and Kai Hirayami can often be seen busking Sundays at the Ballard Farmers Market
Busking in Ballard: Two college students play music, look to future
Julian Weller and Kair Hirayami, both 21, can often be seen busking on Sundays at the Ballard Farmers Market. Weller mostly plays the ukulele (because it is fun and easy to carry around) and Hirayami plays the clarinet, though together they know how to play an armory of instruments.
Weller is entering his senior year at the Walla Walla University, where he majors in Creative Writing. He said he wants to be a writer, possibly for children's books or for radio, but wants to keep music as a serious hobby.
He said he first fell in love with the idea of busking after watching the movie, "Once," a modern day musical featuring a busker who falls in love with an immigrant. The two actors performed the songs in the movie themselves and had actually fallen in love on set.
Hirayami, also entering his senior year, is a music education major. As his studies would suggest, he wants to make a career out of music, teaching it to high school students.
Hirayami said one of his favorite hobbies is to go down to Dusty Strings, buy a new instrument and learn it. He currently knows how to play the clarinet, guitar, piano, mandolin, ukulele and sax -- and he has also practiced to a lesser extent the trumpet, bass guitar and banjo. He first picked up guitar in high school by sitting in his room and copying Led Zeppelin songs by ear.
The two don't know when or if they'll stop busking -- though they don't plan to make a lifelong career out of it -- but so far they have enjoyed the experience.
"Nice people, nice vendors, good way to get outside and play music outside without being a nuisance to people," Weller said.
"It's a very free and not confined environment to perform in to," he said. "You have a little bit more freedom to do what you want."