A lone cellist plays meditatively in the doorway of an old stone building while rain patters on the steps outside. This precious moment seems to have been captured by an onlooker, but who is the cellist and why would they take their cello so perilously close to a downpour? The story behind the video is almost as sweet as the video itself.
The cellist is Nick Squires, a British musician who plays regularly in orchestras and string quartets throughout the UK. Professional musicians don’t usually like to get their instruments wet, but in this extraordinary circumstance, it was worth it.
Squires was booked to play cello in the Alani String Quartet at a wedding at the Stourhead National Trust, a sprawling estate in Wiltshire, England including gardens, a Palladian mansion, and a temple to the god Apollo. The couple had specially requested the Prelude from Bach’s first Cello Suite in G major, but an unexpected deluge forced them to cancel all music at the event. Squires couldn’t bear that the couple wouldn’t hear their special piece played on their wedding day, so he did what any self-respecting cellist would do: he took his 180 year-old instrument into the nearest neo-classical temple and had his friend film a performance to cherish forever.
Somehow, everything just clicked. “The acoustics were magic and the rain was just incredible,” Squires says. “It was a massive risk as my cello is 180 years old, and my fingers were sliding around as it was so damp but I think it came out pretty well!”
Squires’s fingerboard wasn’t the only thing that got damp. His sheet music was soaked and his wet bow needed to be rehaired. But the video has brought joy to the couple and millions of viewers worldwide, who have found the video’s combination of beautiful music and atmospheric rain relaxing. Squires has even made a hour-long loop of the performance on his YouTube channel due to the volume of requests from people using the video to go to sleep, relax, and study.