Pianos: Formal, and formerly so...

The heady world of event hire pianos continues to provide entertainment, adventure and... oh, yes... gainful employment. Many a wild spruce chase around the city's venues, galleries and function rooms, often on my bicycle, because the favoured precincts are usually impossible (and/or expensive) for car parking. 

Byron Kennedy Hall.

Alien piano encounter. The smoky beams scroll through their routine, alternating with periods of no light at all. If there is no one nearby twiddling relevant knobs, it is often easier to just get on with the job. Repairs and other requirements are definitely best not performed on these stages.

For the 'blackouts' I reach for a trusty little Aldi light that has earned its keep since finding its way into my tuning kit. A retina-reaming lighting state sees the little Aldi light suddenly in the shadows.

Another room, in the pink. Glass tables like fish tanks. The servery team is briefly briefed. 

The State Theatre, Sydney.

Oooh, an Australian Opera (now Opera Australia) prop moonlights at a swanky corporate gig - opera favourites. A window into one of my former lives, but the prop itself evokes a fleeting diversionary photo opportunity in a sleepy coastal village. You shove your mug in that hole and imagine yourself in a role. With hooped-skirt and powder-wig finery, are you ready for the Gondoliers? Would you prefer a Bond-esque tuxedo-style life jacket, or simply not to come closer than the traditional measure of a ten-foot-pole? 

I wouldn't have minded parachuting out of this particular job! A whispered conference through wafer-thin partitions saw heated exchanges between conflicting venue hirers, when piano sounds compromised their secret shhh-shenanigans. 


Further alien communications...


Their light...

My light. 

I come in peace - with the promise of harmonious concord.

Witness the marvels of tuning an event hire theatre piano under multi-coloured rapid strobe lighting.

More flowers and foliage than in my garden, the hallmark of many of these 'white piano' events. What type of music is going be played? 'White Piano Music' (a genre of its own, at least in my imagination).

I'm usually happy to get 'the jump' on the piano as soon as it is assembled and positioned, since invariably the hubbub in the room escalates. Here, the stage must be built before the piano can be assembled and positioned. It's better than the stage being built (tongue-and-groove flooring being installed with nail guns) underneath me as I tune...

Memories, or nightmares.  

Meanwhile, I don't mind this sort of delay (within reason) otherwise I simply imagine I'm missing 'the best time to tune' in the manner that an early riser suggests that all others are 'missing the best part of the day'. I like greeting the carriers, I'm happy to carry piano legs and lyre. Following the piano through labyrinthine back passages is often the easiest way to find the relevant reception room.  

More 'White Piano Music' ? No, not one of the event hire instruments, but a fabulous junk shop near Molong, Western New South Wales. Did someone say piano stool?

Back in (glossy) black. The inverted savannah of streamers rippled and shimmered in the same air conditioning that poured into the piano, and onto the back of my neck as I tuned. I stepped away briefly to capture the art created in the piano lid. 

 An interesting city sight as I leave a tuning in the State Library. Fortunately I was able to identify the location without the need to read this sign.

Similar adventures:

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Tango for Piano and Forklift

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The Piano is 'Beached as...'

Pianos: My First World Problems

The Squeaky Pedal Blues

Pianos: Bah Humbug!

Pianos: The Amazing Silent Lift