Piano Treasure Hunt - Find the 10 Pianos, Outdoors!

Posted by: Piano World

Piano Treasure Hunt - Find the 10 Pianos, Outdoors! - 11/14/09 09:32 PM

Remember the articles (and posts) about the pianos in the streets of London, placed outside where anyone could play them?

And later, a similar project in Brazil?

Well now the concept has come to America.

Ybor City (pronounced E-bor) Florida (Tampa area) to be exact.

My friend Kathy pointed out an article in the St. Petersburg (FL) Times about 10 pianos placed around the city, OUTSIDE where everyone and anyone can play them.

That was all we needed to hear, the quest was on!

Today (Sat. Nov. 14, 2009) we paid a visit to Ybor City and tracked down all 10 pianos. I played every one of them (well, 9 were playable, 1 was beyond bad).

Each piano was decorated by a different artist. Some were in pretty reasonable musical condition, others not so much. But that didn't matter, half the fun was in tracking them down and playing them, kind of like a musical treasure hunt, and seeing what the artists concept was. We had our little map, and found out quickly that the folks in Ybor are very friendly.

The whole thing is actually pretty clever. It's exposure for the artists and a fun way to get familiar with the area, discovering shops, restaurants, theatres, etc. along the way.
It was interesting to see the different artists interpretations, and to "test" each piano we discovered.

Following are some pictures, and even a little video clip (yes, I'm the chubby guy in the pictures with the typical Florida outfit on). The displays will be in place through Jan. 9, drop by and play them if you get anywhere near the area.

The first piano we found, in front of the theater...



The second piano, note the art work (the Play Me was part of the artwork, even though it looks like someone wrote it in the dust)...



And a size view of the same piano...


Piano number 3 was in front of a sports bar, second level of the Ybor Centro ...


Another View...


Centro (Central) Ybor where 3 of the pianos are located (some great old buildings converted for modern use in this area)...



Spotted another piano, this time it was near Gameworks (I believe)...


Another view...


On to Number 5, at La France...

And the piano...
Another view...


CONTINUED NEXT POST IN THREAD
Posted by: Piano World

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 11/14/09 09:35 PM

La France piano with lid closed...


Piano number 6, at the Mermaids Slipper..


Closer view of Mermaids piano...


Piano number 7 at the Muvico complex...


Sami plays the Muvico Piano (pianist we met, plays great, has a Bluthner at home)


Piano number 8, the Libarace Piano at Streetcar Charlies...


Playing the Libarace Piano


Piano number 9, the restroom piano. Yes, this piano is right outside the door to a public restoom. Appropriate, considering it's the only one you couldn't play. It was so bad musically, it belongs in a toilet. Unfortunate because the art is cool.



Number 10...
The HCC piano, quite the contraption, but the piano itself was actually pretty good.
It even has a built in video camera and small monitor, so you can watch yourself play :-)


The back of the HCC piano...


And a short video of me playing Kathy's song (I wrote for her) on the HCC piano...
(Yes, I made some mistakes, but it's also partly the pianos fault :-) And believe it or not, the keys were actually hot (from the sun).



Posted by: Mark...

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 11/14/09 10:30 PM

Nice playing Frank!
Posted by: laterlearner

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 11/14/09 10:50 PM

Excellent! : )
Posted by: Gregl

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 11/14/09 10:51 PM

Wish that was me in the background pounding anchors in the concrete (I assume) while getting a great concert on a 243....Thanks!
Posted by: Gregl

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 11/14/09 11:03 PM

It's Fun To Play the Piano ... Pass It On!
Posted by: rustyfingers

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 11/14/09 11:34 PM

How cool is that! Thanks for posting these great pictures and vid, Frank.
Posted by: lilylady

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 11/15/09 12:34 AM

Did you a crowd gather 'round?

Did you leave PW cards out?

;-)
Posted by: jotur

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 11/15/09 01:43 AM

I love it! I'm glad you played them, and posted for us - what a great trip.

Cathy
Posted by: marimorimo

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 11/15/09 01:58 AM

That's so cool! Thanks for sharing the pics, Frank smile I wish they did that too here, but any piano left outside would probably hauled away by some enterprising folk in no time flat!! shocked
Posted by: apple*

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 11/15/09 08:18 AM

i would love to have a link to the article. That would be so neat to implement in the surprisingly sophisticated Kansas City metro.
Posted by: Piano World

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 11/15/09 09:07 AM

A reporter for the St. Petersburg Times caught us while I was playing piano #2 (I didn't know she was a reporter, just thought it was someone being nice who kindly clapped when I finished playing).

She asked some questions, then asked if she could join us on the hunt. She stayed with us for about 20 minutes and two or three pianos. I kept mentioning Piano World, but she still managed to leave PW out of her article (but she did talk about Kathy and me)...

Please Play Me - Article in St Pete Times
Posted by: Betty Patnude

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 11/15/09 11:14 AM

Send the reporter this link to Piano World by email Frank!

What you were saying was "conversation" and she may not have gotten the idea that YOU are the "someone" behind this great website and what it means to so many people who are keyboard players. She was meeting the "head honcho" and didn't realize it, I think.

I love this mainstream piano idea and congratulate whoever in the Tampa area came up with this!

Puyallup, where I live, has a lot of art around town and I am getting "the willies" just thinking about the possibilities of "pianos" around town! (Indoors in public places because we have so much rain here!)

I'm delighted to see the pictures and I certainly understand that you would run right down and put your hands on the keys and test them out. I'd do the same!

Betty
Posted by: Tawny

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 11/15/09 11:59 AM

boo... wont be visiting florida till march.. though, not that i can play anything yet,
Posted by: Piano World

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 11/16/09 10:11 AM

Originally Posted By: Betty Patnude
Send the reporter this link to Piano World by email Frank!

What you were saying was "conversation" and she may not have gotten the idea that YOU are the "someone" behind this great website and what it means to so many people who are keyboard players. She was meeting the "head honcho" and didn't realize it, I think.

I love this mainstream piano idea and congratulate whoever in the Tampa area came up with this!

Puyallup, where I live, has a lot of art around town and I am getting "the willies" just thinking about the possibilities of "pianos" around town! (Indoors in public places because we have so much rain here!)

I'm delighted to see the pictures and I certainly understand that you would run right down and put your hands on the keys and test them out. I'd do the same!

Betty


I sent the reporter an email, and posted a comment on the Article Online .

Rain can be a problem here too. It may not be as frequent as where you are, but when we get a "tropical downpour" it's like someone poured a giant bucket of water. I've seen it rain so hard you literally could not see the end of the hood of your car, with the wipers on full speed (and driving 5 miles an hour).

It will be interesting to see what they look like in a month or so.
Posted by: Triryche

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 11/16/09 11:38 AM

Awesome!!

Whats with the guy anchoring the piano??

Most've thought you were gonna make it fly away!!
Posted by: Piano World

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 11/16/09 12:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Triryche
Awesome!!

Whats with the guy anchoring the piano??

Most've thought you were gonna make it fly away!!



I think the concern is... the piano is in front of some college buildings. It's rumored that college kids + drinking = pranks, which could include trying to move the piano into a dorm room or something :-)

I hope the pianos survive being outside and available to the public 24/7 for the next couple of months. It really is fun chasing them all down and playing them (as well as seeing the art work they've become).
Posted by: kathyk

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 11/16/09 06:31 PM

That is SOOOOO cool! That's great you got to do it, and even better that you took all the great pics and vid and shared them here.
Posted by: Peyton

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 11/17/09 10:13 AM

Great! What a riot.
Posted by: Little_Blue_Engine

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 11/17/09 07:57 PM

I like the "play me please!" piano.
Posted by: Artaxerxes

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 11/17/09 09:20 PM

Loved the tour, Frank. I am a bit older than you, but love that sort of thing as well.

Piano World is a great place to read other's ideas, thoughts, challenges, exchange of ideas and helpful information in so many areas. What a wonderful place for music lovers! Thanks again, Frank!
Posted by: Collyermum

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 11/18/09 08:05 AM

Brilliant! That is so fun, I'd love to take my kids on a piano hunt like that!

thanks for posting, and thanks for this great site!
Posted by: bizonapage

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 11/18/09 11:15 AM

Thought your Kathy's song sounded great. Was piano 3 the hardest to find on the second level?
Posted by: Piano World

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 11/18/09 11:37 AM

Originally Posted By: bizonapage
Thought your Kathy's song sounded great. Was piano 3 the hardest to find on the second level?


Thanks bizonpage.

Yes, #3 and the restroom pianos were the hardest for us to find.
We'd never been in the area before so it was all new to us.

After finding and playing the first couple of pianos it became a challenge to find all 10.
Along the way we learned some of the history of Ybor City (formerly a center of cigar and cigar wrapper production) and talked to a lot of nice people.

They've renovated and repurposed many of the old factories around the center.

There's comedy club, some interesting night clubs and restaurants, plus all kinds of shops . We'll definitely go back to explor more of the area.
Posted by: crusadar

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 11/27/09 04:59 PM

I hope the pianos are still around when I get there in February, I guess not though, pity. We had a similar "pianos around the city" thing here in Birmingham, England awhile ago.....I never found one!.
Posted by: tez

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 12/05/09 06:55 PM

this was done first in uk in birmingham
Posted by: learn piano

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 12/08/09 03:19 AM

it is great,i like the play piano
Thank you!
Posted by: Piano World

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 12/08/09 12:09 PM

Need help finding the 10 pianos?

Here are some helpful hints...

Posted by: Chris H.

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 12/09/09 06:34 PM

Originally Posted By: tez
this was done first in uk in birmingham


I know!

That's about 20 minutes down the road from me and I can't believe I missed it. Maybe next time.

Great thread. thumb
Posted by: RSWilliams

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 12/23/09 07:39 PM

Great post!
Posted by: STFD

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 12/28/09 12:52 PM

Quote:
And later, a similar project in Brazil?


Where can I find that?
Posted by: Piano World

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 12/28/09 01:08 PM

http://www.streetpianos.com/
Posted by: Piano World

Re: 10 Street Pianos You Can Play for Free! (FL) - 01/04/10 09:39 AM

This is the last week to see/hear/play the 10 pianos in
the streets of Ybor City.

The art/music display ends Sat. Jan. 9th.