I caught wind of an art installation scattered around University area of Philadelphia. They gave 8 artist a blank canvas, a piano, to do what that wanted with. The pianos are left in the parks and streets for passerby’s to play and become part of the art project.
I was kind of excited to hunt down these piano’s and play a song at each location. How often do you get to play the piano in a park?!?! I chose Burgmuller to represent my Heart & Soul. Burg-who?
When I was in high school I stumbled upon an old piano book from a composer I wasn’t familiar with. My mother said that it was her piano book from when she was younger. Her piano teacher had escaped from Poland during WWII and this was the book that he taught from.
I instantly fell in love with Burgmuller! To play his songs correctly you have to play with exact technique and a lot of emotion. I figured that this composer would represent the theme of the art installation best. You have to play your Heart & Soul into all of his pieces to be successful. I chose the “Ballade” because it is fun and I don’t need to practice this one. You can hear the piece I chose at this link – Here is the Ballade
I quickly pulled up a piece of sheet music online and went to go print it out to play from….hmmm FAIL no ink in the printer ?!?! So I got to work hand copying the notes.
My first Piano was done by the artist Thom Lessner. When I showed up to the park two other girls where there. They too were trying to find all the piano’s and play their chose of music, “Let it be” by the Beatles.
This was the last day of the Art Installation. So as you can see this piano saw a lot of action. I’m sure the kids had a fun time with this one!
The next stop was a piano #2 made by Melissa Maddonni Haims. She chose to knit her piano.
Piano #3 was made by Kali Yuga Zoo Brigade. It wins for the hardest piano to play at, however very creative. It was like the piano exploded around the seat
Piano #4 was made by a graphic design artist group called “The Heads of State”
Piano #5 was kind of hard to find but I’m glad I kept hunting. It was by far my favorite design, plus the acoustics in that place rocked. The artist was Joe Boruchow who has wonderful pieces around the city of Philadelphia. See his blog and some of his artwork here.
Piano #6 I stumbled upon. I ran into some other people who told me they never found this one. This one was done by Justin Duerr, whom I assume is gay (there’s lace involved). I received my first applause for an encore here!
Piano #7 was done by Terry Adkins. This piano was pretty hard to play because he painted all the keys black. I guess mentally, as a pianist I need to see the black and white keys to find myself on the piano.
Piano #8 was in a beautiful area called Drexel Park. It was a fitting location and pretty piano for my last one (artist was Thom Lessner). When I showed up a family was playing the piano and enjoying the day.
I was kind of proud of myself today! I had set out last-minute to play Burgmuller with a crappy hand drawn sheet music with little expectation. I ended up seeing parts of Philadelphia that I fell in love with on a perfect day (73 degrees partly cloudy). I met and heard different people play their Heart & Soul and I didn’t manage to get one parking ticket! So I think this was a success!