Gabi the Accordionist

Keep it simple, learn to pull back when you’ve pushed too far. Even instruments need room to breathe, before the lungs expand and bellow through the reeds. We all play for a purpose, for some fingers on keys provide for family feed.

Gabi is the sole reason that I began Sidewalk Sketches. Seeing him play his accordion day in and day out captured my interest. I wanted to know what his life must be like performing tirelessly for people going through the motions and following the conventional route. I never knew how much a simple passage and picture would mean to him, until he introduced me to his wife Delia, and son Pavel.

Dragoste means love in Romanian. Learning when to push and pull applies not only to rough moments in one’s life, but also to the motions essential to producing sound through an accordion. Lungs refer to our respiratory system and the way an accordion mimics our air intake. Bellows are the accordion’s pneumatic system that folds and expands similar to our lungs, but it also means to roar. Reeds are the part of an accordion that vibrate once pressurized air leaves the bellows.

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