Pianos: A Day In The Life

Pre-pandemic my piano tuning schedule was sprinkled with an array of opulent events. Now the notion is inconceivable and such happenings seem all the more indulgent. This is a private house being decked out for a huge charity event.

Enough trees are brought in to fill a plundered park. After the event they could retire somewhere local to me. But they'll never make up for the senseless razing of 200-year-old fig trees for the Rozelle Interchange ($paghetti tollways and tunnel$). OK, enough depressing politics.

The piano's not here. I wait. This bloke activates the waterworks with a remote. Gilded geldings ejaculate on cue. Stop horsing around, Cazzbo, geldings can't ejaculate. 

The Sistine tent, one of many marquees installed for the event.

I text snaps to mates while I wait.

Guys gaily gussy. Those whosiwhatsits are being screwed to walls at the ends of the marquee. If it were an opera set or festival I'd be less impressed. But this is a private house (well, the grounds behind it). The largest marquee sits on their tennis court.

Wine glass chandeliers. Now that's a drink measure I could embrace. I just had the one... chandelier.

A coffee bar is installed, but I'll be long gone before it gets up any steam.

Problematic weather, through which the piano must travel.

Here it comes, rolling over expanses of fake turf...

...and down many a step. The carriers were acutely aware of how this year's site layout differed from last year. I hadn't noticed, but they knew exactly how many steps it had added to the piano move.

Hoover away in readiness, my pretty. I hope the ubiquitous backpack vac accompaniment is more distant by the time I'm tuning. 

La scala, or a bloody big ladder at least.

It reaches the roof. Lights are installed. Fresco arses are tickled.

The tables are not yet laid. Often these events (or tunings in the many ridiculously snooty houses I have graced) evoke this scene from the Simpsons. The family find themselves house-minding for rich tyrant Montgomery Burns.

Marge: I know what the other eleven forks are for, but what do you do with this one?

Homer (snootily): Why Marge, I believe you're supposed to scratch your arse with it.

See? I just can bring myself to spell 'arse' the American way.

Beside me onstage is a chandelier I can examine...


Done, and done! I'm outta here, unless there is a scheduled (or unscheduled) call for a touch-up of the tuning.

Two years earlier the piano was in this area, a steel and glass pergola under the most azure of skies. The blazing sun pounded directly on the piano. I urged the house manager to improvise protection for it. He strung up enormous beach towels from the wires on which the vines twine. Somehow he created satisfactory shade to protect the piano and the tuning for the evening performance. I dream of more twining vines in my own space. I see so many homes (and gardens) large and small. It's so entertaining.

Indirectly inspired, and with a vine keen to twine, I string up my own single wire.

Here we go loopty-loop.  Just before lockdown (when I was still prepared to go to a certain big box hardware store) I bought some bits and bobs. Stainless steel cable comes in a variety of gauges.

Spooling out of my makeshift canister, just like a length of music wire. This cable is much easier to wrangle than any gauge of music wire, the most stubborn of gouda-garrotters.

Safety first. Ladder lashed to pergola post.

Strung out.

Connected to a stainless steel cable tie. which I then tightened further.

It's something for my orange trumpet vine to travel across.

Go, go, go!

The vine has settled in and filled out more, but I'm yet to be graced with a single orange trumpet.

To cap off the piano event day, yet another marquee being furnished as a bar as I scarper. My work here is done. Scheduled: a selection of scintillating soprano arias. Brava!

When the Emperor yawns and falls asleep during an opera performance the obsequious audience also loses interest.

Bart (as Mozart): People bored with opera? That's impossible.

  The opening frame of this blog, a loose and playful Simpsons take on history, casts bully Nelson Muntz as Beethoven, the new fashion in music...

The Emperor (Burns): I hereby declare all other music obsolete.


Tread carefully around the blog, Dear Reader, I don't want you breaking anything...

Pianos: On the scent of an event

Pianos: City sights and shepherd's delights

Pianos: Event(ually)

Pianos: The garland is always greener

Pianos: Knockers and 'nicht werfen!'

Pianos: Arty farty

Pianos: Shadowy figures

Pianos: Pins, pitch and PPE.

Pianos: Shrouds, slippers and spanners.