Listeners who appreciate
Now and then again, I'm conscious of someone who sits and listens to me. It's usually a lone man some distance away, sitting with a drink and quietly listening to me. He is not reading the newspaper or distracted by conversation.
Last night I noticed such a man walking down from the smoky bar. He went to a chair several metres away quietly sipping his pint of beer. When I finally stopped for my first break, he mentioned that he enjoyed my series of Les Miserables improvisations.
After I finished, I deliberately played a piece from Les Miserables for him. He then walked up to me to thank me.
When I'm conscious that someone is listening, I play differently. I have an audience. Such listeners make me feel like a concert pianist rather than a cocktail pianist.
This listener hailed from West Glasgow, and his accent was softer than those from the city. Like me, he also disliked cigarette smoke. He wished the hotel would make more room for nonsmokers.
Our conversation moved from Glasgow to Strathclyde University where he had taught before moving back into industry. We then talked about his daughter who lived in an area close to mine. There were so many similarities and empathies in those 30 minutes.
I told him that I just need one person to listen and appreciate my music to make my evening worthwhile. Most of the time I get my wish.
20 February 2003 Thursday