Upon waking-up this morning, I knew I wanted to blog about a special memory made in Munich (DE) back in 2014. It’s a stormy Saturday, late afternoon and it’s been a tough week with rain and strong gusts of wind. Usually, that wouldn’t keep any of us away from the pianos, but more and more pianos now get covered and locked-up. One of the nicest pianos to play in center-town is getting hammered by the worsening winds. The huge megaphone built on top of the piano is now unwantedly working as a windcatcher and we all realize it’s a matter of minutes before the Styrofoam structure will be destroyed and blown away. We’re talking about this piano…
When the structure finally cracks, all we can do is gather the pieces, tape them together and store the remainder in a safe place. It’s a real shame, there goes one beautiful piece of art, as well our last chance of playing on for the night. But wait…! One of us recalls a nice baby-grand piano on an semi-covered square in the vicinity that still might be playable. It doesn’t take us long – a group of 8-10 players – to defy wind and rain making it to that piano. Long story short, the group of players extends to 14 before getting there and neither of us realizes at that point that we’re heading for one of the biggest spontaneous musical gettogethers I’ve ever encountered.
The recipe: most players never met before, most of the fast growing audience never planned to stop for anything other than their reserved dinners in historical Munich center-town on a Saturday night. The ornament hallways not only cover the piano and its players from rain, they also carry the sound in all directions, surprisingly acting as the megaphone we thought we’d lost earlier.
The banquet: Once the baby-grand gets uncovered and played, the ornament hallways start calling pedestrians to join at least for a while. What strikes me that night: we have a perfectly complementary group of players: young and elderly, various nationalities and backgrounds, all of us amateur players and none of us seem to have overlapping repertoires. Without ever having the feeling of standing in line, the players orderly – after all, we’re in Germany 😉 – do one or two songs before stepping aside allowing the next one to shine. Anything between 50’s crooners, 70’s Rock, 80’s disco classics, 00’s dance songs and some nice pieces of classical music, it’s a feast really! Spontaneous duets, audience singers, a solo harmonica and none of it planned for. I consider myself extremely lucky that night! It takes until about 10pm until security – locking up the hallways – find out there’s a few dozens of people in a place they shouldn’t be. They’re a class-act, allowing us to finish one final sing-along-song before breaking-up.
The dessert: When I fly home on Sunday, I cherish numerous photos, email addresses, new faces and the finest of musical encounters. One song played that night will remind me every time since, thanks to my fellow-players!
I Don’t Like Mondays – Boomtown Rats (Youtube-link)
Stay safe, enjoy playing!