Encore!

12 August 2017 – Well, it’s been Music City around here, and my ears are grateful.

All those hours on Spyglass Dock, bathed in one musician after another, and then immersion in the Bach Festival. I’m walking back through downtown after one of the afternoon performances, not exactly humming Bach, but certainly still somewhere in that universe, when I hear — alive-alive-o — very happy music, of quite another mood.

Not the call of the crow. But related.

Sort of.

I’m passing City Square, and here’s another of the Pianos on the Street. Complete with musician and audience, as they usually are. The website blurb is amazingly true to what I’ve been seeing, around town.

Pianos On the Street is about more than just placing a piano in a location and giving people an creative outlet to express themselves in public. Every step of the way, we focus on how we can deliver the best musical experience possible while also doing our part to support and have a positive impact on the local communities.

… We spend anywhere from 10-15 hours on each piano, carefully tuning it and ensuring that it’s maintained to the highest performance standards.

…  Every year, each piano is hand-painted by non-profit groups such as Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and Cascadia Society. We work together to ensure that they have the supplies they need and help them to brainstorm designs.

Beyond the painting, we also love it when pianists get creative in their performances.

And this pianist is creative, yes he is, having a good time and giving the rest of us a good time as well.

By now I’m seated on a bench. The young man next to me gathers his backpack, prepares to leave, we exchange glances & smile, the way strangers do when they discover they are enjoying the same thing.

“I live around Olympic Village,” he says. “I’m around these pianos a lot. The other day? I watched this kid sit down — not here, one of the other locations — anyway, he sits down, he’s maybe 8 years old. And he plays Rachmaninoff! Rachmaninoff! Cross-hands and all!”

We shake heads at each other, admiring, agreeing.

“See you,” he says, and off he goes.

I settle back, and listen a little longer.

 

 

 

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5 Comments

  1. I can’t QUITE hear the music from here, but I like the way this one was painted. There was a similar program that brought a piano to a botanical garden near where I used to live, and other spots…a great public service.

    Reply
  2. Another lovely people-piece. The photos of the piano are superb and I’m glad you posted the website mission statement – would that all mission statements were as lively and interesting. And now for the big question: have you played yet?

    Reply
    • No I haven’t played, all those years of piano lessons & nothing has stuck, except for enjoyment of music — which is a very fine benefit. Do you play an instrument?

      Reply
      • I tootle on a recorder, not very expertly but with real pleasure, and occasionally play (privately) with a couple of much more expert friends. I began playing to learn how to read music, but I think I have a tin ear. I love listening to all sorts of music, especially when I can watch the players.

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