(‘Congratulations on your new album, are you enjoying Australia, can you please look up as your manager is taking an awkward photo of me looking at you sign my CD?’ – still haunting me now)
In such close proximity with a person whose music has affected you in such significant ways, the mind races frantically for something to say – some way to communicate to this unassuming stranger how thankful you are that they exist.
How they carried you through nervous exam nights and cured bouts of insomnia and gave you feelings when you didn't have words.
Perhaps fittingly, all the words stuck in my throat.
What surprised me was my disappointment when I realised I hadn’t gotten a photo of both of us looking at the camera. Something akin to ‘oh no, I can’t make this my userpic’ flashed through my mind, and then I felt a little silly.
Yiruma performed to a sea of mobile screens, covering people’s faces and raised above heads. The first instinct is to reach for the camera and ensure a record will exist, and that's fine if you can get it. They're performers at an official event - we can share their presence with people who couldn't be there and that's a wonderful thing.
But if the video was shot badly, if the picture wasn't ideal, that’s still okay. I think it’s very easy to forget how valuable a lived experience is, in the age where people expect to have some tangible evidence or souvenir for everything that happens.
I remember the delicacy of the piano notes, slight echoes of the acoustics, the deep thrum of the cello, seeing Yiruma's hands flash across the piano keys (he has such lovely hands). The murmur of the crowd and the applause. A regular Friday lunchtime made special.
And if I had left uni later that day, if a friend hadn’t posted news of his appearance on Facebook, if I hadn’t checked Facebook on the train in the morning, if he came down with a cold or was delayed... none of this may have happened.
I don't expect Yiruma to remember me. But in this small world made vast by countless possibilities and chances, I'm grateful I got to share a moment with him and his music in the same time, same place.
...and then I drew a portrait of his faceヽ(。_°)ノ I never claimed to make sense.