We’ve all met one person who we never thought would significantly impact our lives. For Giorgio Lo Porto, that person was his new neighbor.
Giorgio is an Italian living in London. He had a new neighbor who played the piano, so he decided to record him as he played, sharing it on TikTok for his followers to hear.
The music was muffled behind their common wall, but the beautiful music was clear enough to hear.
Giorgio—who also plays the piano but hasn’t played in months—said that he left a note for his neighbor, telling them that he enjoyed their music. He also took that opportunity to request a song, “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion.
And they delivered.
Giorgio left them another note suggesting that they play something together, even though they had a wall separating them. He would play the first part of the song, and when he stops, the neighbor will play, like a call-and-response duet.
He didn’t know if they would actually do it or if they would even remember, but Giorgio sat by his piano at 2 p.m. and played the first few notes.
As soon as he stopped, the neighbor played the succeeding notes!
Their piano duets became their weekend “meet-up.” They played back and forth through their shared wall and reveled in the musical bond they were sharing.
On Valentine’s Day, the neighbors played another duet, hoping to cheer up anyone who hears.
“It’s Valentine’s Day. We’re in lockdown. This was our way of saying, I don’t know who you are but I’m here. You’re not alone,” Giorgio wrote on TikTok.
Eventually, the time came for them to meet.
“Well, today I have met my neighbor,” Giorgio wrote in a video he shared on February 21. “It was better than expected.”
Turns out, his neighbor was a 78-year-old man named Emil. He’s originally from Poland, and the apartment was his temporary accommodation while he waits for his house to be sold.
Sadly, Emil lost his wife in December due to COVID. All he has left is his piano, which he plays at 2 p.m. every weekend because his late wife loved it.
“He thanked me for keeping him motivated and less lonely,” Giorgio said. “And I promised that I’ll play with him until he moves out.”
Giorgio said Emil was camera shy, so he wasn’t able to show him to his followers.
Despite what happened, Giorgio said Emil “is fine now, healing.” And his piano playing is just excellent.
This newfound friendship inspired him to write his own song. On February 27, Giorgio shared that he woke up with 3 notes in his head.
Adding some string orchestration to his composition, he called the song “Dear Emil.” It’s actually the first song he has written.
When Giorgio wrote the piece, he started picturing Emil’s life.
“A 78 y.o. widower who lost his wife due to this stupid virus,” Giorgio said. “Spending days at home alone due to lockdown. Looking forward to play her favourite piano songs at 2 p.m. every weekend, until a note appeared on his door.”
“A letter showing he was heard and not alone. And a new friendship started. Two pianos between a wall, not knowing who was playing. But it didn’t matter.”
“You can be the light of somebody else’s darkness. So keep shining,.”
“Dear Emil” was absolutely beautiful, just like the person it was based on.
Giorgio announced that Emil was moving out the following week. He shared their last weekend duet—the highly-requested “Moonlight Sonata.”
Emil still didn’t want to be in the camera but thanked everyone who had been watching their weekly piano duets. Giorgio promised him he would keep playing the piano for him on the weekends.
But several days later, Giorgio posted a grim update on TikTok. On March 14, he got word that Emil had passed away in his sleep.
“Dear Emil,” Giorgio wrote. “I knew very little about you, but you changed my life. You gave me back my passion, and we shared that with the world. You’ll be in my heart. I’ll keep playing, thinking of how powerful music can be. You said I was your light, but you’ve been mine too. Bye, Emil.”
Now, Emil is finally reunited with his wife, and he’s probably playing the piano up there for her.
What did you think of this story? Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to share this with your family and friends.