I am going to review the piano installation that we had the chance to see during the summer
school. The piano installation used many old, broken or disused pianos and turned them into art.
For example, the installation showcased the oldest, still working, piano. At over 200 year old it
showed that pianos have changed a lot without actually changing much at all. Students, including
me, were able to play this beautiful piano; although the piano looked its age, to me, it certainly
didn’t feel it, and I was surprised and how little difference there was compared to a modern piano.
It felt old but that added to its appeal – I was able to imagine the hundreds of people before that
had played it. I felt as if it was a honour to become part of its history – along with some of my
new friends. I couldn’t have imagined sharing this opportunity with anyone else.
Overall, I really enjoyed the event. I liked the creativity of the installation, and I knew that a lot of
time and effort has gone into it. The part of the installation that I enjoyed the most was the ‘open
piano’. The open piano was where the strings of the piano were visible, and we were invited to
use various instruments, such as brushes and tuning sticks, to experiment and see what sounds
we could make. I liked this because it was very interactive and allowed all sorts of different
sounds to be made. We could also collaborate on this piano – so not only were we having fun –
we were enjoying working together, finding new sounds and actually storing up ideas for future
compositions. This session was part way through the week – so we knew each other quite well
and so I think we are had more fun than if it had been on the first day.
One thing that I did not like, however, was the piano that had coins put in-between the keys to
create a metallic sound. This is because the coins had only been placed in certain places along
the piano. This could have been improved by putting coins in-between all the keys, which would
have made this part of the installation more experimental. It also would have then been fun to hear
what popular tunes sounded like with a new twist. I think the main thing that I learned was that
creativity can never go too far. Taking risks is important. Having fun is important. Pushing the
boundaries is important. This installation covered all of these challenged and it challenged me. I
was inspired to think that ideas can become reality.
I shared my review with another person in my group via a conversation. I shared my thoughts and
ideas with Lucas and in the main he agreed with me. The one place where we differed is that
Lucas’ favourite part of the installation was the C major triad piano. He liked the fact that you
could never hit a wrong note! This event has inspired me to see more of this kind art form as I
found the whole experience really, really fascinating. I am very lucky to live close to Coventry
which is UK City of Culture 2021 – this installation made me realise that I should embrace the
weird and the wonderful a bit more as it turns out things aren’t always as you expect – but
challenging perceptions is important. I suspect there will lots like this as part of city of culture
which is putting art, music and creatives at the centre of things – and showing that they can add
value economically too. I would recommend this to a friend with an interest in music as I feel they
would find it inspiring and engaging.