He calls himself Brennus, says he is a self-taught computer programmer and now busks on Columbia streets to make a living.
Brennus can often be seen near Ellis Library on campus, playing a tune with his violin case open on the ground.
Born in Kansas City, he said he moved to Chicago and lived there for 20 years. He recently He moved to Columbia with his two cats for three years.
He got his violin at 45 of age from a Dublin violin-collecting friend, and started to teach himself to play.
He has been played the violin for 10 years.
“The first three years were pretty awful, but after that, it got easier,” he said.
This isn’t the first instrument he’s taught himself to play. He became interested in Irish music during a trip to Chicago in 1981, and later he started to play the Irish whistle.
After that, he learned to play the flute.
Other of his skills are also self-taught. For example, he plays wei qi, a kind of Chinese chess, as well as western chess and he can also cook Chinese and Thai food.