As I stepped out to drop the trash down the chute yesterday afternoon I ran into our neighbor across the hall, a generally nice veteran in his 80s who of course mentioned my violin playing. He has complained to me before about noises on our floor, so I know he can be a bit sensitive to sounds. Let’s be clear – we’ve lived here for 8 years and we hear virtually nothing on our floor – it’s as if others don’t even live here. Of course that perception is mainly due to decent soundproofing – the units are basically concrete blocks, so banging on the walls is the best way to get sound out, and people don’t do that very often.
But violins are loud, and I already know that people can hear me sometimes. I’ve written about them mentioning it, so I was bracing for some comment about the noise that wasn’t perfectly positive; it did not come. He said that he can only ever hear me when he’s standing in between our units – we’re directly across the hall from each other.
He also said that he had been deeply moved by my playing of Danny Boy. He told me that the song was very special to his mother, and that several members of his family, including an aunt “who sang in beautiful coloratura” used to sing the song together. Hearing my rendition nearly moved him to tears, he said.
You coulda’ knocked me over with a feather.
Thanks for reading.