On Mother's Day and senior citizens

May 15, 2017

I'm currently living in the northernmost part of Rotterdam. It's a pretty quiet area (excepting the highway), with a lot of parks, schools and senior citizen homes. 

 

A few weeks ago, as I was meandering through Rotterdam in search of random pianos to play, I thought to myself - I wonder if any of those senior citizen homes have an instrument hidden in a corner somewhere.

 

At least one of them does.

 

Yesterday, Emma and I played a Mother's Day concert at Laurens, Stadszicht. In this particular care home, elderly people suffering from varying stages of dementia are housed. That turned out to mean we performed for our most varied audience so far. 

 

We had a crowd of about forty people, ranging from grandkids coming to visit to an actual retired prima ballerina. The prima ballerina was actually amazing - she was eighty-two, and she had the most perfect posture I've ever seen on an elderly lady. 

 

Now, a crowd of senior citizens can be hard to cater for, especially if you choose to speak in between the pieces. After all, there's always a chance of them not hearing you properly, and there tends to be more shuffling and muttering than usual. 

 

But right after the second Liszt Consolation, there was a moment of complete silence before I heard someone say "en zo is het". Literally translated, that means "and that what it's like", and it's something my grandmother used to say when she agreed with something. 

 

It's very dramatic and emotional, I'm sure, but it felt a little bit like she was there.

 

Emma, meanwhile, has managed to do the entire programme without her arm in a sling. She was still bathed in morphine, of course, but apparently her tendons are now strong enough again to carry the weight of her arm at least for short intervals. 

 

I can only stand in awe.

 

I'm also looking forward to our next concert.

 

We'll be playing next Wednesday, the day after tomorrow, and it's for a special occasion! We'll be performing the Syttende Mai concert at the Norwegian Sjømannskirken in Rotterdam.

 

Interested? Come listen to us at 13:00 on the Westzeedijk 300!

 

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