Last week, a particularly cute post was submitted to the best subreddit out, /r/wholesomememes:
It’s an almost two-year-old instagram post by Ned Dixon, who is a 21-year-old “Melbourne-based pianist, composer, and cabaret performer”, and who is obviously a talented and thoroughly-trained classical pianist to be able to just whip out some random Liszt.
So sometimes, it seems, a neighbour might ask a pianist to please delight them with a rendition of a specific New German School piece. That pleasure has not been mine, but that’s not to say I haven’t had requests at all. Here is a list of some notable requests I’ve received in my piano-playing lifetime, and from whom.
MmmBop, Hanson – my Year 7 girlfriends after we let ourselves into the school hall and very naughtily opened the grand piano reserved for assemblies
A Little Air, Bach – Mummy, who wants me to play this at her funeral, about which she reminds me every single time she looks at a piano which is really morbid
Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, Pearl Jam – my annoying little brother when he was learning guitar at age 15
Clair de Lune, Debussy – my mum’s friend Jan, who was appalled I’d somehow managed to avoid learning it during my classical tuition (still don’t know it)
Roses, Outkast – an ex-boyfriend, for whom I did actually learn this, and I still use it to impress people
(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano, Sampha – my brother’s girlfriend, and it’s at the top of my ‘must learn’ list
Piano Man, Billy Joel – several discrete people who have somehow not heard this song enough times to want to banish it to the Upside Down forever
Memory, Barbra Streisand – my mum’s friend Liz; are you picking up that I was forced into several impromptu soirees during my youth?
Closing Time, Semisonic – a trio of backpackers whom I ended up at a house party with; to be fair it is kind of fun to play the opening, but then you remember how boring the rest of the song is and give up mid-first verse
Clocks, Coldplay – a friend’s boyfriend who thought this was the most atmospheric song ever
As you can see the request road is fraught with as many hook turns as wide sunny stretches, and my conclusion is that you’d best have a few useful gems or genres up your sleeve, so you can at least give your audience some guidelines to go on.
In conclusion, I present to you the ideal pianist for requesters, and on whose style I have made up my mind to model my own: it’s Canadian producer Scott Storch, who actually worked on all of the tracks he melds into this excellent medley.
Anyway, here’s Wonderwall.