“Where words fail, music speaks.” -Hans Christian Andersen
He’s playing Comptine D’Un Autre Ete L’Apres Midi by Yann Tiersen. I’d know that anywhere. I can’t remember how long he’s been playing, I don’t remember when he started. All I know is that it’s playing now and I don’t want him to stop. I was once at home, with mother. And I remember she was a beautiful pianist. This has to be my biggest regret; not learning how to play piano. Not learning how to read music. I think it could’ve been a major part of my life.
No I think it should’ve been.
Actually, I think it was.
* * *
October, 27th, 1958
Radio Reporter: Thanks. It’s really great to have you here today.
Robert: No, my pleasure. It’s great to be here.
Radio Reporter: Right. So, you’re a family man, I see. You have a lovely wife, Judith and a beautiful daughter, Linda. How do you balance family life, between that and your high-flying career?
Robert: Well, it’s… it’s actually a good question. You see, I have to spend a lot of time with the boys…
Radio Reporter: Ah, for all the audience out there who aren’t too clear, I’m speaking with Robert Walliams, violinist in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He inherited his talents from the great Timothy Walliams, conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Robert now travels with the Orchestra to all corners of the world and let’s face it, he lives for his violin. Is there any other instrument you respect?
Robert: Well, as part of the orchestra, of course there are, I mean, each and every piece is integral to the overall symphony. I’m a strings man, myself but my wife, she’s a piano lady. I love watching her fingers caress the keys, but only when she plays it. I dunno… there’s just something about her tempo. It can even get little Linda to sleep.
Radio Reporter: Yes, Linda! Tell us a little bit about Linda. I know there’s a bit of a story there.
Robert: Well, Judith and I, we’d been trying for years to have a child… but, in the end, the only other possibility was adoption and now we’re blessed with Linda, our girl.
Radio Reporter: But… she’s not entirely part of the family, is she?
Robert: Now that she’s grown up, no. Well, yes, but no. Um, she is every bit a Walliam as I am, but, she just… doesn’t really have a knack for music, you know what I mean? I mean, I play the violin for her and my father tried to teach her the notes and all, but she’s a lost case indeed, it’s just not in her genes. In terms of music, the only thing she really responds to is Judith’s piano… that French piece by Yann Tiersen. Not bad, that one. If she likes that piece by Tiersen, then she has good taste, I’ll give her that. Elegance too… must have something to do with the foster home she came from…
Radio Reporter: By the sounds of it, at least she’s responding to classical music…
Robert: Oh, I know! None of this Rock ‘n’ Roll happening these days. Ravel’s my man and I’m sure classical music will have a resonating effect on our Linda. But it’s like music is just a foreign language to her.
Radio Reporter: Well, thank you for coming on the show, we appreciate you giving up your time for us and to our listeners out there, we’ll be back shortly after this newsreel.