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‘Imagine’ pianist discusses his Paris performance after terror attacks

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Uwe Anspach/AP

After a series of terror attacks in Paris on Friday, a pianist gave an impromptu performance outside the Bataclan music venue the following day, captivating the crowd with his rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine.” A video of his performance quickly went viral, and the pianist, who has since identified himself as Davide Martello, gave an interview to The Guardian explaining why he drove his piano 400 miles from Germany to Paris to pay tribute to the victims.

Martello, who performs under the name Klavierkunst, said that he was in a pub in Konstanz, Germany, watching the football match between France and Germany when he learned of the attacks. “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.”

After driving to Paris, Martello said he hitched his piano to his bicycle and traveled to the Bataclan, where 89 people were killed during an Eagles of Death Metal concert the night before. At least 129 people have been confirmed dead in attacks across the city.

Martello has played in conflict zones around the world, and earlier this year, he performed outside the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris. He told The Guardian that the scene outside the Bataclan was “shocking,” saying that he got too emotional after performing “Imagine” and “just couldn’t carry on.”

“I can’t bring people back but I can inspire them with music and when people are inspired they can do anything,” Martello said. “That’s why I played ‘Imagine.’”

Watch a video of Martello’s performance below.