Paris terror attacks

He drives 640km to play Imagine at attack site

Musician Davide Martello playing John Lennon's Imagine near the Bataclan concert hall on Monday. After learning of the Paris attacks, he put his piano on a trailer and drove 640km from the south-western German city of Konstanz to Paris.
Musician Davide Martello playing John Lennon's Imagine near the Bataclan concert hall on Monday. After learning of the Paris attacks, he put his piano on a trailer and drove 640km from the south-western German city of Konstanz to Paris.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Music soothes all wounds - that is the message a pianist felt he needed to send after the Paris attacks.

So within minutes of the attacks last Friday, Mr Davide Martello put his piano on a trailer and drove 640km from the south-western German city of Konstanz to Paris.

Amid national mourning on Monday, the 34-year-old played John Lennon's Imagine outside Paris' Bataclan concert hall, where 89 people lost their lives in the attack.

Mr Martello told the Guardian newspaper: "I phoned my friend to talk about it, got in the car and drove all through the night."

He said he felt it was his "duty" to pay tribute to the victims.

"I 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," he was quoted by the Guardian as saying.

"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."

The musician is known for travelling around conflict zones to play the piano and previously performed at the sites of the Charlie Hebdo attacks earlier this year, the Guardian said.

He has also appeared in Istanbul, Kiev and Donetsk when the cities were rocked by unrest and bloodshed.

He has been recognised by the European Parliament for his "outstanding contribution to European cooperation and the promotion of common values".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 19, 2015, with the headline 'He drives 640km to play Imagine at attack site'. Print Edition | Subscribe