Acts of Kindness
84-year-old pianist composes improv masterpiece on public piano
Listening to her music was like being transported to a different world. I can't believe she just came up with this on the fly like that.
Cherie Gozon
08.30.21

Natalie Miolin Trayling is an 84-year-old woman and a musical virtuoso.

YouTube Screenshot|Matthew Trayling
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|Matthew Trayling

She is known in the streets of Melbourne for playing wonderful piano pieces for the local crowd.

Once she sits there, she lets the music flow through her hands and the melody that comes out stops the people from their walk and draws them closer to her.

Her humble beginnings led her to where she is now.

Pexels|Lucas Pezeta
Source:
Pexels|Lucas Pezeta

She was taught how to play the piano at 12-years-old by nuns in her Catholic primary school.

She was granted a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music in London at age 15, but her parents could not afford other fees that came with it, since her scholarship only covered the tuition.

She was still able to get her diploma in music at Santa Maria College at age 17.

Pexels|Aramis Cartam
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Pexels|Aramis Cartam

She went the unconventional route and toured around Australia to follow her passion.

In one of her travels, she met Denis Trayling, got married, and had four children. But it wasn’t all sweet success for Natalie.

Tragedy rolled over Natalie’s life like a bowling ball to the pins.

Pixabay
Source:
Pixabay

It started when her daughter, Kerin, died in a car accident. She was devastated, and everything around her fell apart.

Her son became depressed and suffered from schizophrenia, she and Denis divorced, and her other daughter died of cystic fibrosis.

The final blow was when their house burnt down.

This rendered Natalie homeless in 2009.

Pixabay|Ryan McGuire
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Pixabay|Ryan McGuire

One day, she went inside a store and asked the sales personnel if she could play the piano.

They allowed her to do it, and she would play Chopin, Beethoven, and even her own compositions. However, she was sent out at 6 pm every time the store needed to close.

But it was at those times that she felt more at home.

“I’d find a park bench somewhere and sit and think, ‘I’m home.’ I was always terribly cold at night, but in the morning, I’d feel the sun on my back, and I’d be happy again,” Natalie told The Australian.

YouTube Screenshot|Matthew Trayling
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|Matthew Trayling

Watch one of her performances below as she sits in front of the piano to the delight of the street’s crowd once more. You can see people started to stop and take notice.

They pull out their cameras to take video of Natalie, and they applaud when she’s finished.

This is one song that she hasn’t played nor heard of.

It was her composition on the spot.

YouTube Screenshot|Matthew Trayling
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|Matthew Trayling

Despite suffering from arthritis in her hands, she still moves her fingers with grace from one key to another. She filled the entire street with her music.

You can also feel that she’s telling a story with this composition.

YouTube Screenshot|Matthew Trayling
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YouTube Screenshot|Matthew Trayling

She starts slow and mellow, like how most stories begin. The up-tempo in her composition gives us both a sense of excitement and intense struggle in her life.

And each time she transitions to a more mellow tune, you can feel all the sadness in it.

We’ll never know for sure what Natalie is trying to tell in this composition.

YouTube Screenshot|Matthew Trayling
Source:
YouTube Screenshot|Matthew Trayling

One thing’s for sure, it’s very emotional and moving.

Hear Natalie’s beautifully harrowing improv piano composition in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Cherie Gozon
hi@sbly.com
Cherie Gozon is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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