Today I saw a seven or eight years old child playing the piano in the center of Leeds. I was in a commercial site, and I first thought it was the music from a store. I almost passed by him–I wanted to take a picture of the place, and this is the only reason why I noticed him.
Other people had the same surprise; I think we are all used to shop in malls, having some music in the background.
An older couple stopped to listen. The man started to have tears in his eyes, and he had to turn aside to wipe them. The woman came to me and asked me if I am a musician. “No,” I said. “So much work,” she said. “So many years of practice you have to put into it.”
The child finished another song and we all applauded.
His father came to him. He looked like a rugby player. Quite tough. He gave his son a score, they had a short exchange, and the child started playing Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years. “How to be brave, how can I love when I’m afraid to fall. Watching you stand alone, all of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow…”
Have you seen Radu Mihaileanu’s The Concert? Just play music, “Come play the concert!”
The boy’s father took out his phone and started to record him while he was playing Perri’s song. Who knows why this song and not others? When he saw his father, the child turned his head, smiling, as for a picture.
“I’m only human, and I bleed when I fall down.”
The older man was still crying.
I will probably never see these people again.
“Brilliant, man,” somebody said. He applauded and left.
And I remember the end of The Hobbit: “‘You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!’
“‘Thank goodness!’ said Bilbo laughing, and handed him the tobacco-jar.”