There was a man playing one of those free to use pianos in the Gare du Nord. I feel sorry for the pianos that live in such draughty environments. I don't know a lot about their needs, but I imagine they require a certain level of care and upkeep, and I worry this is not entirely compatible with the echoey indifference of a station concourse. Perhaps this concern of mine informs my perception of the music because the melodies of public pianos always sound half dead to me, as if someone has taken a sharp, round ice cream scoop to their heart and patiently hollowed it out. The sounds of a piano should not have to compete with any other sounds. They should be allowed to ripple and envelop everything. But, in the brouhaha of the station, every note ends up gasping for air.
And thank you for the lovely piece of writing :-)
Agree about that hollowness of the public pianos
Public Piano, Exhibit B:
(Recorded Saturday, May 26, 2018 in Hutchinson, Kansas, outside Bluebird Books, on the corner of Sherman & Main. An unidentified man and Betty. Part of the Smallville Soundwalk project.)