Amateur pianist Alberto Gestoso Arce, 37, plays the piano from his balcony for neighbours, near the Sagrada Familia basilica, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Barcelona, Spain March 21, 2020. Picture taken March 21, 2020. REUTERS/Nacho Doce
BARCELONA (Reuters) – Barcelona resident Alberto Gestoso, whose video of himself playing piano for neighbours from his balcony has been viewed nearly a million times on Instagram, is just happy he could help people forget the coronavirus, if only for a few minutes.
The clip, taken while the 37-year-old computer programer was confined at home under Spain’s state of emergency, has been featured on national media in a country hard hit by the pandemic.
“One neighbor asked me if he could join on the saxophone. I’d never even seen him before,” he said of the video, which features Barcelona’s iconic Sagrada Familia basilica in the background. “In the end I played (the) ‘Titanic’ (theme tune) and he joined me mid-song.
“If such a lovely, viral video can make people forget – if only for a little while, for five minutes – about the coronavirus and always talking about the same thing, then that’s great.”
Dozens of musicians and singers across Spain have regaled neighbours with music, since the government imposed strict lockdown measures on March 14 in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Writing by Clara-Laeila Laudette; editing by Andrei Khalip and Mike Collett-White