Thursday, February 02, 2006

They were very trendy but most people just went so they could say they had been. It was rather uncomfortable. The seats were fine, but wearing a blindfold in a concert hall full of other blindfolded people is quite strange. Gultensbien was an eccentric though, he refused to play the piano if he was even one person peeking past their blindfolds: he’d walk off stage and not come back that night. But really, everyone knew this, and having paid £60 for tickets, there were seldom any transgressors. So seldom in fact that Gultensbien became quite confident that none of his fans would ever see him perform. He began coming on stage in his dressing gown and slippers. What did it matter what he wore? That was the whole point: no visuals, the audience were not to be drawn away from the sound of the piano by some florid wallpaper, ornate rafters, or the appearance of the pianist. Eventually he began coming on stage naked. When he was ill he didn’t cancel a show he just sent his nine-year-old daughter on stage and the audience thought they were hearing some of Gultensbien’s new avant-garde compositions. She never touched the piano outside that hall; she wasn’ta pianist at any stretch of the imagination. But £60 pounds for a ticket stayed the price. Gultensbien would treat her to some ice cream afterwards. She did it more and more often. Soon Gultensbien was only doing one night a week himself. She wasn’t the least bit stage-frightened either, ears are nothing like eyes. No one could see her.

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