I recently discovered my appreciation for these humble instruments during a shoot for a story on E. coli in park sandboxes in the Bay Area. Three word hint: Poop is everywhere. Will it kill you? You decide.
But to the real issue here. Harmonicas. They conjure up images of railroad tracks and hobos and bandannas, no?
We spotted this Russian grandma on a park bench, puffing away on a harmonica, playing a melody for her 4 year old grandson. It was so nice to hear a harmonica, and photographer Mark V. was all, "Oh we gotta have that." So I dutifully walked over with my lavalier mic and asked her if she wouldn't mind if I clipped it on her cardigan so we could record some of her lovely harmony for our news story about poop in sand. I finish relaying all this information and then realize she's giving me the 'polite but puzzled I don't follow you' smile.
But through the universal language that is 'desperate reporter needs nat sound' I was able to pantomime the actions and gesticulate until she understood what the little Asian woman with the small black box wanted to do and she was all, "OK" crazy lady.
I was so inspired by the Russian's harmonica playing that I point and clicked my way into a brand new harmonica for 8.99 from Amazon. Thought it would be fun to blow in The Good Doctor's face at 2AM should he call my blob fiction ONE MORE TIME. Do it. See what happens Mister.
Moments after opening it and playing some tunes for Emmy, guess who hijacks the harmonica? Yes. The White Mannequin. Admittedly, he is fairly talented for a non-musical person. True, harmonicas take about as much skill as the kazoo, but his wheezing in and out turns our 8.99 harmonica into a little polka machine.
In short, it now sounds like a panaderia in our house.