Pianos: City sights and shepherd's delights

A chapter from my continued event hire adventures...

I log serial numbers to know which corporate piano I've met where, how recently, and whether it's been naughty or nice. I record the number then delete the snap. But this quick pic, music rest still in, with scant disparate light sources, captured shadowy shapes that appealed. The south side of a north-facing pin forest.

I don't usually log unceremonious start times. Am I making a point about punctuality to the perceived unconverted, or congratulating myself for being a grown-up? Both. Hey, my phone's paisley wallpaper is the same as the venue carpet. It's definitely not my favourite time of day, having left home before sunrise. On the plus side, I'm finished work before I'd usually get up.

Chandeliers are bred on farms on the outskirts of Sydney. It takes a mere twenty weeks for a newborn chandelierling to reach maturity. 

White-gloved handlers dust chandelier dander.

This view evokes nautical themes. It looks as though a ship has docked. I've suddenly got a craving for waffles.

Gallery piano tunings can make one seem like an avant garde installation or happening. A punter came to tell me he had been enjoying the sounds for some time, from across the room, that he found them mesmerising and soothing. I told him nobody had ever said that before! Even muso mates think the sound (or act!) of piano tuning is equal measures boredom and torture. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is magical to immerse oneself in complex sonic minutiae and bring it all into concord. 

I've got a hankering for vanilla waffles.

More pointed punctuality: I'm ready to meet my contact at 1pm. I had enough minutes up my sleeve to ride to the thirteenth floor of the adjoining building, which shares the same address, yet I was still on time. This is because I never want to have to ride my laden bicycle at anything other than a leisurely saunter. Even then I surprise myself with how quick it might be. My liaison was not there, but spying the piano in the Supreme Court foyer, I got on with it. She arrived later with this sign to discourage potential barristerial bacchanales.

Back to too early. The room lights are hitting the sunshades, but the sun has not yet risen.

The automated blinds rise to reveal a battleship-grey day.

I was compelled to snap the ferry, how very Sydney! The stage lights are now on, see the white reflected in the glass? Unusual - they are large bright diffusing light-boxes, what you'd use for the most Hallmark Cards-style flattering photo shoot. Designed to combat both silhouetting and wrinkles, in this picturesque backlit space, ready for a lunchtime seminar in how to look gorgeous while you peddle your music. 

I was really photographing ferries (and battleships) to show my sister. We'd recently caught the ferry to Watson's Bay to have fish and chips. I've lived in Sydney for over half my life, yet it still never occurs to me to catch a ferry, unless prompted by visitors. How very Sydney!

City pianos mean city life. 


Mr Gullible.

Here's an interesting twist and an enterprising way to turn a demeaning shift into self-improvement, or escapism. 

A laptop in a home made cardboard tray with neck strap. The stabilizing waist strap is cast asunder, arse under. His battery won't see out the shift, then he might prop an e-reader atop the lappy, or perhaps a book!

Who wouldn't take any opportunity to juice up their smartphone? I've long been fascinated with human phalanxes lining airport walls where power outlets are found, people in suits sitting on floors where they'd never normally deign to stand.

This guy is missing a golden opportunity to have half a sandwich-board sign hanging on his back. He's painting the window frame black. With that cool suction device, I'm certain I could climb tall pianos.

Are you ready? It's a new one on everybody, a red piano. My photos don't do its lipstick-vibrancy justice. Installed for an event to launch Pop To Popism where there was not a muted colour in sight. 

The chandelier farmers are late, so I begin the tuning with the piano further across the stage. I'm happy to be interrupted to reposition the piano, I'd rather it happen before I've left. Then (on stages like this) I can encourage the many hands to lift slightly across the stage joins, lest cracks become chasms or piano legs buckle at the knee. 

A chandelier takes flight...

...then light.

As the guitarist pulls out a red guitar I ask, 'Are all the instruments going to be red?' I indulge in brief banter extending that idea with the musos, leering over my red piano demanding that all instruments to grace this stage be red* then I scamper to the tuning's end.

The pianist's beautiful first noodles, delicious cocktail jazz, earwormed me for my entire cycle trip home. It was a pleasureable sensation.

Like a grey rag to a colour blind bull.

Red stool? Consult your doctor.

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* Bleeding Gums Murphy might have found a way to qualify.