Train stations and airports are interesting places where people from around the world meet in the midst of their travels.
They are a mosaic of individuals and cultures coming together, if only briefly, in a myriad of ways— but, this interaction between two strangers, had entirely via piano, is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen yet.
The French train company SNCF believes that music can make an experience more enjoyable. As a result, they’ve placed pianos in select stations around Paris. These pianos are referred to as “À vous de jouer” pianos— meaning anyone is welcome to sit down and play a few notes.
While I’m sure there have been a few talented players gracing these stations throughout the years, travelers who were at the station in March of 2015, were treated to an especially beautiful performance.
Luckily for us, a few travelers managed to get the entire thing on film, so we can witness the beauty too! It all starts with a young man named Gerard Pla Daro from Spain. He was at the French station when he came across the piano and decided to sit down and play.
Gerald is clearly a gifted piano player. He makes gorgeous melodies as his fingers race across the instrument’s keys.
As he plays, people start to watch him— but one young man, clad in a white T-shirt and backpack, takes a closer interest than the others.
The man standing, later revealed as Nassim Zaouche from Algeria, intently watches Gerald’s fingers as they zoom across the keys. At one point, he looks over at the person filming and grins before leaning down.
Still watching Gerald, Nassim leans over and beings to play, coordinating the notes to Gerald’s melody.
He begins slowly, adding single emphases in certain places, but as he begins to recognize and sense the pattern of Gerald’s song, Nassim’s playing becomes more complex.
When Gerald realizes what Nassim, a stranger, is doing, he lets out a huge grin.
From there, the two men launch into an improvised performance that has taken the world by storm.
As the two talents come together in an unexpected musical display, they weave a beautifully complex tapestry of notes that seems to mesmerize everyone in the station.
The way they take turns leading and following on the piano is like a dialogue, spoken entirely by keys.
Their melodies are similar yet distinct from each other— but together, they create endless layers of musical depth.
According to the Huffington Post, the song Gerald and Nassim play sounds like “Una Mattina” by Ludovico Einaudi— and I have to say, I’m pretty inclined to agree.
Nassim and Gerald’s beautiful, improvised performance has been viewed over 39 MILLION times.
“I like how in the last 2-3 minutes, they’re just trying to figure out how to end it at the same time.”
“My GOOSEBUMP gone wild. Like these guys had a conversation using a piano”
“This is awesome I could never play like this”
When two strangers, from different cultures, come together to create something as beautiful as this, it truly is a magical thing.
I hope these guys can manage to get to know each other in the future. I bet they have a lot in common!
See the performance, for yourself, below!
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