Doctors try to identify 'Piano Man'


At an English hospital, a man who won't speak `comes alive' when he plays the instrument.


LONDON -- His suit and tie were dripping wet when he arrived at the hospital, and he wouldn't say a word despite his agitation. But when the mysterious man was shown a piano, he started playing -- and wouldn't stop for two hours.

The man was found wandering the streets in a coastal town in southeast England more than a month ago, and he has refused to communicate ever since, except through music.

"I cannot get within a yard of him without him becoming very anxious," said Michael Camp, the social worker assigned to the tall blond dubbed "Piano Man" by hospital staff. "Yet at the piano he comes alive."

Staff at Medway Maritime Hospital launched a search Monday for anyone who knows the man, who is in his 20s or early 30s and was found April 7 in the town of Sheerness. He is being treated at a psychiatric unit in nearby Dartford.

"Someone, somewhere must be missing him," Camp said. "At the moment, we only have six weeks of history of this man to work on, which makes it very hard."

Hospital chaplain the Rev. Steve Spencer said the man "is not the virtuoso that he has been portrayed in the press. He knows a small number of tunes and plays them over and over -- I recognized some John Lennon and a snippet from Tchaikovsky's 'Swan Lake.'

"When he plays, he is totally focused -- he cuts out everything else and it makes him calmer."

Hospital staff discovered the man's musical ability after they gave him paper and pencils and he produced a detailed sketch of a grand piano. They showed him to a piano in the hospital's chapel and he played classical pieces and other music for two hours.

Agencias: The Associated Press
Autor: Sue Leeman
Medio: Orlando Sentinel
Fecha: Martes 17 de mayo de 2005
Notas: Copyright © 2005, Orlando Sentinel
ID: 1584 Editar

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