If the choice were mine I'd have a cappuccino and a bloody big brolly to protect the piano. Another little look at The Calyx in the Royal Botanic Gardens. There is an impressive vertical tropical garden where water vapour is misted constantly. Stripey sunstroke notwithstanding, I'm very glad the piano wasn't in the tropical garden room.
it's a hive of activity. A baton-twirling parade team had to rehearse walking from here to over there to loud canned music. I explained I'd need that off to tune. One more run-through, I was told. Sure. You have to be accommodating. But after four more rehearsals I dropped another hint. They reduced the volume of the playback and continued.
In such situations I usually find I can push my earplugs in further and bury my head in the piano to hear it to tune. Plugs help reduce surrounding sound but there are limits. You have to communicate, educate, but also compromise. It's a merry dance.
Too much sun forces me into shirt-on-my-head mode. To the left you can see the piano, its floral festoonings, and my purple veil reflected in the glass. I do this often especially when on tour. I travel very light (apart from having to take a tuba) so I'm never toting a broad-brimmed hat of the type that Mrs Bunny (below) favoured.
You might think a hat (and a spare bustle) could be packed in the tuba bell for performance-based travel, but that is where (sandwiched in foam) I keep my stage shoes. I keep my non-stage shoes on my feet. I digress.
Dappled light and a very gentle breeze can make it almost pleasant. You'd think it'd be tranquil but such scenes are surprisingly noisy. If you ordered an idyll, complain to the waitress.
Hugging the shadows for a change but the open loading dock is right behind. I'm usually glad of the light in such situations (because backstage areas are often miner's-headlamp dark). The conditions for the piano onstage may be starkly different to those it has experienced in transit and load-in.
Finding crumpled dampers (and having to dismantle the piano to fix them) is an entirely unacceptable situation. No matter who you are, you do not touch a piano's dampers. It is easy to misalign them.
It might be the only time I'd condone violence. This is my "you toucha my dampers I breaka your face" face. More resigned than threatening.
My moonflower vine. I was pruning another plant and I think I severed a vital artery. It is no more. The flowers open up at night then close during the day. I made a timelapse video of a moonflower closing and included it in a film exposé of my garden.
These floral walls look like popcorn, or lychees. I'm no designer but I'm not sure this aesthetic is working for me. And the piano's propstick is wrongly positioned (hard to see over that layer of lychees).
The view from the piano is a slapstick scene. Folk stringing up rails onto which to string up pictures, the whole assembly having to be stabilised in front of walls that are curtains. A real-life anxiety dream.
The Art Gallery also hosts the Annual General Meeting of busts of famous composer that normally sit on top of music teachers' pianos.
There are white pianos out in domesticity. And weird art. You get a lot of time to examine such art while tuning. You go deep, deep, into everything. Sound and sight.
It's as though the found objects spackled into this artwork were previously stuck to the soles of local vagrants' thongs**.
A detail in the artwork. If it were horzontal I'd be trying to wipe it up. Are my clients friends of Dorothy? You bet your ding-dong-diddly they are.
Another very noisy setup to tune through. I was forbidden to start until the gallery was officially closed at 5pm. No doubt a contractual stipulation for those that would command a public space to launch some sort of snooty snifter.
That's a Picasso on the left: Nude in a rocking chair. You know it's art when the naughty bits follow you around the room.
What? Two men? Now you've scrolled back up to find the second man, Where's Wally-style.
A stealth snap from my piano post. The talent** and the talent-minder scrutinise the painting's description after having speculated that there were rogue penises roaming the work. I overhear their demonstrative theories and am urged to join in the banter. I briefly do. then return to my tuning task.
Art appreciation Simpsons-style. Homer was on his knees at 'Split Peas' then drools as he notices 'with ham'.
* OK, so you know that thongs are THESE, right?
** 'Talent' - as us performers are referred to in the industry (by our wranglers). I can tell you who the talent was if we're in conversation and it comes up, so to speak.
Check out some other nooks within the blog...
Pianos: Blooming marvellous
Pianistic peregrinations... (or why pianos don't like sun, swimming, nor sheds)
Tango for Piano and Forklift
Lord Howe Island - The Island Tuner
Spruced Up - Pianos About Town
Pianos: House and Garden Varieties
The Brown Thumb Gardener strolls around the garden (YouTube)
In the studio - recording with The Wolfman