Man bikes grand piano to attacked Paris concert hall, plays Lennon's Imagine
'He just pulled up and started playing. Everyone suddenly stopped talking'
As the world grieves the co-ordinated strikes in France that killed at least 129 people Friday night, a German musician showed his sympathy Saturday by biking his portable grand piano close to the attacked Parisian concert hall and playing John Lennon's famous peace anthem Imagine.
Davide Martello, who performs under the name Klavierkunst, played the song about 100 metres from the entrance of the Bataclan concert hall, where gunmen killed hostages during a rock concert on Friday. The concert hall was the scene of the Paris attacks' worst carnage, with an estimated 89 people killed there.
- The latest on the Paris attacks
- World landmarks light up blue, white and red for Paris
- Paris attacks draw condemnation from world leaders
Dozens of journalists and pedestrians took in the spontaneous street performance, filming it with their cameras. Claus Reinholdt of Denmark's TV2 watched the performance and told CBC News it was incredibly moving.
"He just pulled up and started playing. Everyone suddenly stopped talking while he played. It was a touching moment," he said in a written message.
A small hitch on the back of Martello's bike carried the piano, which had a peace sign on the top of it.
Transportant son piano à vélo il vient jouer <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/imagine?src=hash">#imagine</a> de Lennon devant le <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bataclan?src=hash">#Bataclan</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ParisAttacks?src=hash">#ParisAttacks</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PrayForParis?src=hash">#PrayForParis</a> <a href="https://t.co/EKRt0YD76X">pic.twitter.com/EKRt0YD76X</a>—@ValeryHache
Martello told CBC News that the idea came to him while he was sitting at a pub in Konstanz, Germany watching the friendly soccer match between France and Germany. One of the attacks took place outside the Stade de France, which could be heard in the broadcast.
"After I saw that insane violence I just followed my heart and went to Paris with my piano," he told CBC News in an email.
Devant le Bataclan, un pianiste est venu rendre hommage aux victimes de l'attentat <a href="https://t.co/AmISvyacKP">pic.twitter.com/AmISvyacKP</a>—@maudvallereau
"This was one of my most touching moments in my life."
Earlier Saturday, he posted on his Facebook and Twitter accounts, identifying himself as the piano man.
Paris - I feel with you. Let's stand together for a free and peaceful world. <a href="https://t.co/4OftYEftuV">https://t.co/4OftYEftuV</a>—@Klavierkunst
Martello is known for bringing his portable piano to different parts of Europe.
He famously played in Istanbul's Taksim Square back in 2013 during anti-government protests. He was later awarded the Wilhelm Haller Peace Prize for his performance there.