The man who gave that moving performance of John Lennon‘s Imagine outside the Bataclan Theatre, one of the sites of the recent Paris attacks has been revealed to be David Martello, a street pianist who often travels to the site of human tragedies to offer hope via music.
Sitting in a pub in Germany watching the France vs Germany soccer match when the explosions began, Martello made a quick decision to load his piano into a trailer and make the 400-mile drive to Paris. “I just knew I had to do something,” he told The Guardian. “I wanted to be there to try and comfort, and offer a sign of hope.”
Performing Imagine as a tribute to victims and their loved ones, Martello said that he “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.'”
Taking to Facebook, he made the following posts explaining his actions and motivation.
The 34 year old who usually plays under the name KlavierKunst (which translates to Piano Art) is no stranger to site of tragedy and destruction, having performed in Paris before at the site of the Charlie Hebo shooting as well as at the Maidan protest in Ukraine, the civil war in Donetsk and the Taksim demonstrations in Istanbul.
Even with his experience though Martello described the scene as shocking, telling reporters there was still blood on his piano from the previous night’s attack.
“I got to the end of playing Imagine and just couldn’t carry on,” he said. “Even if I wanted to it was just too emotional,” he said.
With the death toll now up to 132, let’s be thankful for people like David trying to bring hope and love to these frightening times. You can watch Martello performing Imagine here below.