Meet Klavierkunst, the Pianist Who Performed ‘Imagine’ at the Site of the Paris Concert Attack
In the midst of all the pain and anger surrounding the terrorist attacks that shook Paris Nov. 13, one image offered solace: the sight of a pianist performing John Lennon's "Imagine" on the streets where, just hours earlier, music had been disrupted by unthinkable violence.
The Guardian offers a closer look at that man, whose name is Davide Martello and who performs under the stage name Klavierkunst. As it turns out, Martello has developed a reputation for traveling to "conflict zones" to perform — including "the Taksim demonstrations in Istanbul, the Maidan revolution in Kiev and the civil war in Donetsk" as well as the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris earlier this year.
Martello, whose efforts have earned a commendation from the European parliament for their "outstanding contribution to European cooperation and the promotion of common values," tells the Guardian he was in Germany when news of the attacks broke out, and quickly made the decision to travel 400 miles to the Bataclan theater in Paris, where more than 80 people were killed after gunmen opened fire during an Eagles of Death Metal concert.
"I just knew I had to do something. I wanted to be there to try and comfort, and offer a sign of hope," explained Martello, who said he drove all night to reach the Bataclan. "I can’t bring people back but I can inspire them with music and when people are inspired they can do anything. That’s why I played 'Imagine.'"
The experience was obviously a tremendously emotional one for Martello, who later told Facebook followers that the performance was among the "most touching moments in my life" and later pledged to lead "a tour through all the places where the killing was."
You can learn more about Martello's travels as Klavierkunst on Facebook, where he's posted photos of his travels — a journey that, although he descries himself as "just a street pianist," has taken him all over the world. "I'm still tired from the drive of last night but I will come tomorrow," he vowed. "Paris is the city of love! FOREVER."
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