Liquid Ink

The official website of Gint Aras, Finalist 2016 CWA Book Award

The public piano and the homeless man

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Here is a video of a homeless man playing a public piano in Sarasota, Florida, as part of the Sarasota Keys Piano Project. It requires no introduction or commentary.

My first experience with a public piano was this past spring in Amsterdam where I took this photo:

DSCF3238That moment was about as great an experience as I have ever had with public art. I stood by that piano for almost an hour, just waiting to see what kind of people would sit down to play; each time I returned to the train station, I walked by to see what was going on. People took turns politely, complimenting and thanking each other, and the pianists ranged from a few Asian tourists to very obvious commuters (as the man in the photo is most likely a Dutchman coming hom from work).

The piano music mellowed and calmed the experience of the busy train station. It also opened up the space and contributed to the rhythm. I was so moved by the music, the openness and trust experienced between the city, its residents and strangers, that I’m convinced every city should have multiple public pianos in places like train stations, post offices and outside the DMV.

One thought on “The public piano and the homeless man

  1. I had the opportunity to play in the shadow of the lion in front of the NYC library a few years ago. It was an street/art/music project and such fun to track down all the pianos scattered around the city. Your comments are spot on. Toni

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