As you may know, dear Reader, I play background piano at events.
Gospel Hymns at Funerals
Famous classics and Jazz for Veterans
Love songs at Weddings and Valentines
Traditional Christmas Songs and Carols over the Christmas period
Modern pop songs at Restaurants (played at half speed, to make them relaxing)
But every now and again, I throw in a subtle surprise to see if people notice. Ha!
Amuses me and keeps the joy in my playing.
The other day, I was playing for the Blind Veterans in the Deganwy Quay Hotel.
There was a family there with a little girl, aged maybe 5 or 6.
I could see she was surrounded by grown-ups (yawn), so I surreptitiously started playing some Disney classics.
When she heard “Let It Go” from the film Frozen, her ears picked up, and she looked at me with huge eyes from across the room. What surprise on her face! It quickly turned into delight, as we both mouthed the words together as I played the chorus.
A magical moment indeed.
When I play at the Llandudno Bay Hotel on Christmas Days, I mix traditional Christmas Carols and modern Christmas Songs. I am finding that the traditional carols are dying out, and are being replaced with Number Ones, like Cliff Richards “Saviours Day” and “Mistletoe and Wine”.
However, I have some fun with “We Three Kings”. It’s in D minor, coincidently the same key as Pirates of The Caribbean. Both songs are in 6/8, So I morph gently between the two songs.
I remember playing in the Imperial Hotel, Llandudno one lunch time. People were dotted around the room, eating. Then they moved closer to the piano. Then they all moved closer again! Until they were nearly touching it. There was no interaction with me, they just loved the live music and the energy coming off me and the piano. Made me smile though.
Recently, I was playing in a restaurant, and had just finished playing Adele’s song “To Make You Feel My Love”. I was moved to merge it into A Million Dreams, from The Greatest Showman film. No reason, just felt like it. Same key. Surprised how many people recognised it! A waitress whispered “Thank You ” at me, she enjoyed it so much.
Restaurants are interesting, because the spread of ages can be dramatic. I occasionally throw in extracts from The Transformers film, or Star Wars, to see if there are any geeks, who’s ears will pick up the familiar tune.
I love playing film music. A couple of my favourites are
“My Name Is Lincoln” from the film The Island,
“I Can Carry You” from the film Blood Diamond
Another thing I love doing LIVE, is taking a fast pop song, and playing it at half speed, leaving lots of breathless spaces. Songs by Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift lend themselves to this style. The tune is pleasingly recognisable, but without the pounding rhythm.
Once, I was playing “Thinking Out Loud”, and one elderly person shouted out:
“What about after 70”?
It was funny because the song lyrics (written by a 20 year old), say
“I will be loving you till we are 70”.
My work is such fun!
If you would like to book Serge, please contact us.
Tel: 07910 126663