Dubai: A sought after international percussionist living in Dubai with 450 performances to his credit last year is now out of job.
That’s no surprise for Italian expat Walter Scalzone, who has lived in the UAE since 2012.
“The music and entertainment industry has taken a beating these last two months with the closure of social and public events amid a COVID-19 outbreak in the country. But I love music and I love what I do,” he said.
Scalzone is sharing his music in a bid to entertain people from the comfort of his balcony and the view is remarkable.
Scalzone stays in Dubai Marina and his balcony overlooks the water. “The sunsets are beautiful here and that is why every week I play my music from here.”
Every Sunday from 7pm to 8pm, Scalzone takes out his cherished instrument the Handpan and plays ten tracks for the listening pleasure of his neighbours and friends on social media. He has even given it a name calling it “Uncancelled Sundays.”
“From doing 42 gigs in a month to having all my events cancelled, this is one show from my house that will not be cancelled. And that is why I have given it this name. For someone who only knows to perform I have found my new stage and it is my balcony.”
Scalzone’s first balcony performance was on March 20 and it was a tribute to his country Italy, which was in the peak of a COVID-19 pandemic at the time. “I haven’t stopped after that,” he said.
For the uninitiated the Handpan is a term for a group of musical instruments that are classified as a subset of the steelpan. The basic form of a Handpan consists of two metal half-shells glued together, a centre tone field (named Ding) surrounded by a circle of at least seven tone fields on the upper side and an opening in the bottom side (named Gu).
“It has a very unique and soothing sound. It is an instrument close to my heart. I miss playing it, I miss performing on stage.”
Scalzone last performed on March 15 at Coya Dubai. “I never thought I would be out of work for months after. From leading a busy life to now counting my fingers, I wish things would change soon. But I know I am not alone in this. There are so many like me who are feeling the heat of the pandemic. But music is therapy and I want to share for all.”
“Today, my industry has been highly affected and I know artists will be the last ones allowed to perform their work. But I am not giving up my art.”
Scalzone plays around ten tracks every Sunday. One of them is played out on his Instagram handle @walterscalzone. People can also listen to his work on you tube and Spotify.