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 neighbors 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.