Six months after my experience playing the streets of Amsterdam, winter came to the city. A week before my CD recording sessions in Hannover, Germany, I felt the incredible need to do something wild again. The reason was twofold: I wanted to perform my program a few more times before recording and I had not lost the desire to reach as many people as possible with Handel’s music. We sat down to think what I could do. January in Amsterdam means possible frozen canals and occasional snow, so in any case it was no option at all to do something outside again.
Instead I went out on the street where I live and invited random people in for a short house concert in my apartment. It ended up being one of the scariest things I have ever done: I started conversations with complete strangers – luckily I live in quite a safe neighborhood and of course I always had the choice with whom I would speak – and invited them. While I was outside inviting strangers to my home, a good friend waited in the apartment and poured the audience a cup of tea until I came inside to perform. An important part of this exercise was my desire to also invite my neighbors in the street and the owners of the many shops I daily frequent. Why not make everybody I know, and see often, part of the experience? It was a fantastic afternoon. I gave four ten-minute house concerts and it was full house: people came in!
And up to this day my relationship with my neighbours has intensified. In fact, yesterday the owner of the Dutch cheese shop on the corner –who sponsored the lovely afternoon with a platter of cheese- loved the fact that I was going to Los Angeles and made me promise to tell him all the stories I will experience. I will!
Together with my team of creative people we immortialized these Amsterdam moments on film. Because if you really want to spread the music, what quicker way is there than Youtube? I couldn’t imagine though who would see it once it was uploaded…I will tell you about it in Chapter 3.