When it comes to homeless people, don’t judge a book by its cover.
A video (below) of a homeless man named Ryan, playing an incredible piece of moving music on the streets of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, has gone viral and garnered over 2 million views, the Daily Mail reports.
Roslyn Polard happened to pass by the street piano in Churchill Square and, with Ryan’s permission, filmed him playing a solo on the instrument.
“I had to stop and turn around and go back, because it was so beautiful,” Polard told CBC News.
Ryan, who has been living on the street for about 30 years, tells her that he wrote the song himself, despite not having anyone teach him how to play.
“He said he learned to play the piano by going into music shops,” David Rauch, a strategic analyst with Edmonton, told the Toronto Star. “We’re not certain he even knows this is a big deal.”
Ryan is playing one of six pianos that were put in place around the city earlier this year as part of a project organized by Rauch.
“The music is beautiful. It really is,” Polard said. “The juxtaposition of it — him sitting there and pouring his heart and soul into this song.”
“It was a completely spontaneous event,” she adds. “I feel very fortunate I was able to capture that.”
Polard plans to look for the homeless musician and give him the money she has earned from the video.