England mystified by Piano Man

“Dripping wet and deeply disturbed, the smartly-dressed man was discovered walking along a windswept road beside the sea. Over the next few days he steadfastly refused, or was unable, to answer the most simple questions about who he was or where he had come from.
It was only when someone in hospital had the bright idea of leaving him with a piece of paper and pencils that the first intriguing clue about the stranger’s past emerged. He drew a detailed sketch of a grand piano. Excited, hospital staff showed him into a room with a piano and he began to skilfully perform meandering, melancholy airs. Several weeks later he has still not spoken a word, expressing himself only through his music.”

Read more on the Guardian website

Barry Kavanagh writes fiction, and has made music, formerly with Dacianos.

Contact him here.


  1. ALL labels had been removed from clothing worn by the mute ‘piano man’ when he was found wandering on a beach, it was disclosed yesterday.
    The apparently deliberate attempt to conceal his identity emerged as calls poured in to a missing persons helpline following publicity yesterday about the man, who has not spoken since he was found on the Isle of Sheppey, in Kent, more than five weeks ago.

  2. Several names and nationalities have been put forward in attempts to identify the “Piano Man”, found wandering in Sheerness, Kent.
    Health workers caring for “Mr X” are unable to confirm reports that the man has been identified as a French street musician called Steven Villa Masson.
    On Tuesday, a Polish street mime artist approached police in Rome saying he had worked with the “Piano Man” in Nice.
    The 33-year-old immigrant approached officers at the Trevi Fountain, after seeing a photograph in a newspaper.
    But since then, Mr Camp has said: “I am concerned we don’t just stop at this particular person.
    “There are 300-plus other names we have got.”
    He also said it was “a possibility and nothing more”.
    He said one lead that the man might be from Sussex had been investigated and discounted.
    “The person, at the time they phoned in, only had a verbal description from the radio. Once they saw a photo, that wasn’t the person,” he said.
    Another strategy has been to ask musical experts to help identify Mr X.
    Orchestras around Europe are being contacted to see if they know the man.
    More: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/4557619.stm

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