Videos and Concerts!

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Videos!

This week we have some sweet vids to share, so take a break from the day to day, put in the earbuds, and enjoy!

Sally Seltmann plays on top of Revolution Hall
Beautiful music, beautiful cinematography and, of course, a beautiful piano! Learn the amazing story of collaboration between Portland artists and Australian artist Sally Seltmann.

Documentary Coverage
The Media Institute For Social Change's
2016 Summer Documentary Program participants Pilar Curtis and Dylan Walker created this profile of us.

It provides wonderful insight into the program and all the people who are part of it.  Enjoy! Learn more


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Three Hours of Music!

We are supporting the International Open Streets Summit this Saturday with an all-star line up. Come out and join us. Learn more and RSVP.

1-3pm Saturday August 20th
Portland Art Museum


Student Recital Concert

The students just keep on coming! You'll be amazed at the talent in these young musicians. Join us!

7pm Thursday August 18th
Portland Art Museum

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Farewell Concert 2016

We are wrapping up our 2016 season of Piano Push Play with our final Friday night concert at the Portland Art Museum

7 PM Friday August 26th

Please RSVP on our Facebook event page and tell your friends.


Remember, Sharing = Caring
Be like all the wonderful people who share their music with the world:
Forward this email to a friend!

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Forever homes, students, and our season farewell concert!

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Pianos moving to forever homes

This phase of the Piano Push Play project is always a little bittersweet for us. The pianos are coming off the streets, a sure sign in Portland that summer is ending. We'll miss these delightful beauties.

But many of these pianos are finding forever homes with artists, co-ops likeArtistic Portland (the bright and beautiful Mitsuko by Susannah Kelly ) and other community organizations.

Do you know of some place that needs a piano?  We’d love to hear from you. Please let us know in the comment thread on this post on our Facebook page.

 
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New Location!

Having visited Council Crest and Mt. Tabor, globetrotting Nadia by Big Giant is visiting the Youth Music Project in West Linn. This is our first foray into that wonderful southern location. Please give them a visit!

(Photo credit: YMP Instagram)

 

Student Recital Concert

Come support the students of Portland pianist and teacher Jessica Susanto in a public recital at the Portland Art Museum 

Tonight! 
7pm Thursday August 11th

It is so important for young musicians to find an audience that appreciates their hard work, practice and artistic expression. Be that for them! 

(Image: the elegant Dorothea by Charlie White)

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Farewell Concert 2016

We are wrapping up our 2016 season of Piano Push Play with our final Friday night concert at the Portland Art Museum

7 PM Friday August 26th

Please RSVP on our Facebook event page and tell your friends.

 

Remember, Sharing = Caring
Be like all the wonderful people who share their music with the world:

Forward our website to a friend!

In this issue: Stars visit the pianos, more concerts, a peek behind the scenes, and a call for your help finding forever homes.

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Recording stars visit the pianos

We were tickled and pleased to see recording artists Al Yankovic and the duoibeyi visit the pianos.

They both visited the piano designed by the team led by Tony, Paige, and Ron of Doug Fir Lounge. Ron told us, "This year's contribution entitled “Heroes” is inspired by recently passed pop icons David Bowie and Prince. Featuring a glam-inspired David Bowie lightning bolt and purple Prince backgrounds, the piano is a tribute to two of Pop’s most influential cultural icons."

And the stars loved it!

"Free live outdoor concert in Portland today!" - alfredyankovic

"Free live outdoor concert in Portland today!" - alfredyankovic

"First thing we saw stepping out of the van in Portland ....Prince forever! ❤️ " - Ibeyi

"First thing we saw stepping out of the van in Portland ....Prince forever! ❤️ " - Ibeyi

And much, much more!

Also this week, we've got two new concerts for you and a special peek behind the scenes. Keep scrolling!


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Free Concerts @ Portland Art Museum

Thursday August 4th at 7:00pm
Divergent Opera artists will be performing their amazing repertoire, followed by an intriguing performance by Mitchell Falconer.

Friday August 5th at 7:00pm
Musician, songwriter, and vocalist Glasys (Gil Assayas) will be creating his unique music live.


The Pianos' Journey & How You Can Help

4 minute read

It’s dark. Dust motes float in shafts of light filtering from the skylights far above. The smell of old, dry wood is everywhere. Scores of dark, rectangular shapes wait in the shadows, silent.

A woman with a flashlight walks between the rows. She finds the one she’s looking for and brushes the dust off the bench. Sitting and opening the keyboard cover, she tries a few chords. She plays each key one at a time from top to bottom. She stops on the ones that seem to be having trouble and tries them several times. She opens the case and peers inside. “This one might work,” she says.

Megan McGeorge has rescued another piano.

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Every year, uncountable pianos are sent to the dump. Unloved, unsellable, these aged instruments are not worth the money it would take to refurbish them and keep them in tune. Nobody wants them.

But we think there’s an afterlife for these pianos, a place where people will still love and play each one. A forever home.

Megan mixes and matches salvageable pianos with designers and artists she knows. These good people take the instrument in, refurbish it, clean it up, and then the magic begins. They infuse each one with their vision, their style, their unique perspective on music, on sound, on color, on Portland. They take these pianos and dress them up in their Sunday best.

See a timelapse of this year’s “Diana” by Cassandra Swan here: https://vimeo.com/174427593

See a timelapse of this year’s “Diana” by Cassandra Swan here: https://vimeo.com/174427593

Then, of course, it’s out on the streets for these beauties. Our team of tuners and movers get them in shape and place them on street corners, in parks, and among food carts so everybody can enjoy them.

Tuner and piano tech extraodinaire Alvin Alghrim uses a little heat on Laurieto gently coax one of her felt hammers back in line. Each piano gets tuned several times, both before and while it's on the streets.

Life on the streets can be tough. Keys start to stick. Pedals get knocked off. And, despite our best efforts, sometimes it rains in Portland in July. But for rescued pianos like these, it’s a last chance at life, a final performance, a couple of weeks where they can once again be played, be heard, and be appreciated.

The strong ones, the lucky ones survive. Still sounding sweet and looking fabulous, they come off the streets ready for another encore. And we’re ready for them.

We find places in the community that love music, that honor musicianship, and we give these pianos away with a final refurbishment and the promise of an annual tuning. Places like King School, Revolution Hall, Good News Health Clinic, ADX Portland, Portland Playhouse, Cymaspace, and others.

Some pianos you can visit (check our app) and some play for a private audience. We make sure they all are loved and played for years to come.

This year, we need your help.

We’ve already got a few forever homes in mind, but we’d love to hear from you. Do you know of some place that needs a piano?

Please let us know in the comment thread on this post on our Facebook page.

For more about the process of bringing one of these amazing pianos to the streets, see the entire story of 2015’s amazing “Haydn” by Splash Worldwide here:http://celticcoffee.github.io/Haydn/

Site designed by Brent Bacheller and built by Wendy Goodwin 

Music on the streets in the summertime. Encore performances!

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Sunset Concert Encore

Last Sunday night we enjoyed a sunset concert by recording artist Asher Fulero. He played a mix of Eric Clapton, Elliot Smith, Phish, and lots of Asher originals.

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It was so popular, we've asked him back for an encore performance. Please join us!

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Join Us!
This Sunday at 7:30 PM up on Mt. Tabor. It's free! 

Make some music.
Make some memories.

Sit next to one of our pianos and within minutes you'll see somebody walk up and touch a key. That first, tentative note. They tell their companion, "It's been years since I played." But they sit. They start to play.

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Sometimes it's "Heart and Soul." Sometimes it's "Chopsticks." Sometimes it's just a series of notes, one after another. A simple melody.

But sometimes it's Chopin. Rihanna. Beethoven. The Beatles. Sometimes, they sing. Sometimes, others join in.

It's their music. But it's more than that: it's memory, it's meaning. And you become part of it.

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If you haven't had a chance yet, go sit near one of our pianos. Even if you don't play. Be an audience to someone's music, a witness to their memories.

Find them on our map, or use our app.

The pianos are moving and the hills are alive with music. Come play with us!

Come sing and play with us!

The pianos have been out in the streets and parks of Portland for a couple of weeks now. People all over the area are singing, playing, listening, and laughing. Come out and join us!

Some of the pianos have moved. Nadia flew from Council Crest over to Mt Tabor (Come see Asher Fulero's Sunset Concert up there Sunday evening).Amy left the Oregon Historical Society and climbed Powell Butte. And Dianacontinues her tour of Portland, going from City Hall, to the Pioneer Place Apple Store, to the roof of the Society Hotel! And, of course, all our other lovelies are still where they were.

One of the coolest things we've seen is music teachers bringing their classes to the pianos. This Saturday morning, you can join the Youth Music Project at the magnificent "Fur Elise" piano at the Portland Art Museum.

Catch them all!

For a map of all the latest locations, see our map or use our app!


Thanks, Apple!

We had a great time with the Pioneer Place Apple Store this past week. Megan talked to the staff about the project and our developers Misty and James described how they built our mobile app.

Then, the little spinet Diana joined us from City Hall to delight Apple Store employees (many of whom are musicians and artists) all weekend out on the patio.

Akila Fields plays Diana, designed by Cassandra Frances

Akila Fields plays Diana, designed by Cassandra Frances


More for you to enjoy

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Friends serenading friends on Council Crest with Nadia.


Welcome to the latest news from Piano Push Play!

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Free concert tonight

Start the holiday weekend right with a free concert on the Portland Art Museum plaza on one of our most eclectic looking and sweetest sounding pianos, "Fur Elise". Beginning at 7pm we will have sets of music from amazing local pianists. Becca Schultz will lead off the evening and Mitchell Falconer will close it off. Come join us.

 

Thank you for the great start!

Our big kick-off party last week was a blast, and we couldn't have done it without the help of a whole bunch of people.

Rob Bearden and the whole Portland Art Museum staff were inspirational and energetic. They worked tirelessly to make the event a success. Eric Lindauer and our board of advisors are incredibly supportive. And our designers... words cannot express how wonderful and amazing these people and their pianos are -- you simply must come see these pianos.

There are lots of opportunities coming up all summer long. Keep checking our here for updates.

 
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Get to know Anna

Designer Maureen Long shares her insightful journey to creating this colorful delight, named in honor of piano prodigy Anna Fedorova.

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Learn more

Our creative director recently talked to the Portland City Council about our mission and purpose.

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Friday Night Concerts

The first in a series of free concerts starts tonight. 7pm at the Portland Art Museum plaza

I made a new friend recently

by Maureen Long

I made a new friend recently. It was quite unexpected and it took me by surprise.

When the driver delivered her to my front door, he set her down in my small apartment dining room. She sat there quietly, without saying a word so I let her be. During the following weeks, I went about my business around the house and glanced at her now and then. Still nothing.

She looked a little road weary, so I decided to clean her up a bit. I rolled up my sleeves and started scrubbing.  She seemed to like it because below the years and layers was a fine lady.  As I sanded her keyboard cover a beautiful fragrance lifted out of the wood grain. I said, “My, but that is a marvelous perfume you’re wearing.” “Yes, its my favorite and I always wore it when I performed,” she responded. 

Then the floodgates opened and she began to tell me about her life. She was born in Chicago around the turn of the century and her name then was Anna.  She traveled widely and was played in concert halls, churches, dance halls and schools. Her favorite performances were always with children attending.

In the last part of the night when the tree frogs sing and the morning birds wake, Anna is the happiest.  So she and I decided to include Nature’s Musicians on her new coat. They’re painted on all sides of the piano so when melodies are being played on the keyboard, onlookers can become detectives. Find the crooners of the deep ocean, the serenader of the wetlands and the crashing of the waterfall.

Now, because some very nice people rescued her, she’s all spruced up, and ready to be played again and again.

We thank you.

See Anna in all her glory and learn more about Maureen.

Namesake Artist: Alice Coltrane

As part of the Sumer 2016 season, we are paying tribute to a score of world-changing women artists by naming our pianos after women musicians and composers that we respect and love. 

Our first artist is Alice Coltrane.

An artist and musician from an early age in Detroit, Alice was proficient at keyboard, organ, harp, composing, and arranging. She released over twenty recordings and played with major artists and groups, including her husband, John Coltrane. She was a mother, writer, and spiritual leader in the Vedantic tradition. She left this plane in 2007.

For more information, see her site at http://www.alicecoltrane.org/

Join us June 24th for the big unveiling of all our pianos at the Portland Art Museum. Learn more on our Facebook page 

Friends Reunite at Columbia Park Piano

Our amazing photographer, Benji Bảo Vương, is a master at capturing moments, He writes:

"I had the privilege of meeting LeAnn and Sally while shooting at Columbia Park yesterday. They have been friends since both were 8 years old. Both grew up in northern California, but due to life turns and events Sally ended up living in Scotland for a period of time and now reside in Vermont, while LeAnn remained on the west coast and lives in Portland. After 16 years, they finally meet again in Portland and LeAnn mentioned to Sally about the mysterious piano she found at Columbia Park and this was where I met them and captured this moment.

"LeAnn brought her music book with her to the park where LeAnn played some fantastic scores from The Sound of Music while Sally sang. Their families accompanied them by their sides and sang along while bystanders are 'wowed' by the performance! Truly a great evening.

"Thank you for sharing your moment with me!"

Link to his post on Facebook

 

Summer Kickoff Concert Success

As our spectacular summer 2015 season winds down, we're starting a series on some of the wonderful things that made the season so special. We start, of course, with the kickoff concert.

 On June 28th, hundreds of people gathered on the Portland Art Museum patio to see the pianos, meet the designers, and listen to our musicians perform.

Alex Falcone (Late Night Action, Willamette Week, Portlandia) was our master of ceremonies.

Pianists Jessica Susanto, Theresa Silveyra, Maria Choban, Mitchell Falconer, Becca Shultz performed a piece for five pianos commisioned from composer Richie Greene, directed by Shoohei Kobayashi.

Jedediah Bernard performed. Sara Jackson-Holman, Loch Lomand, and Megan Diana McGeorge played orignal songs from their respective albums.

Best of all, two volunteers from the audience played impromptu pieces on the spot.

Of course, the pianos were out in force! All eleven pianos were on display, participating in the concert, and showing off the innovative designs from ADX, Open Eye Art, The Good Mod, Roundhouse, Splash Worldwide, Lucid Design, NORTH, Struck, Awesome Portland, Ryan Bubnis, Doug Fir Lounge, and the Bureau of Betterment

So many thanks are due to the amazing Rob Bearden and his wonderful staff at the Portland Art Museum. Thanks also to our sponsors and partners: Umpqua Bank, Awesome Portland, Portland Piano Company, West Coast Piano Moving & Storage, Becker Capital Management, Schwab, Hilton Hotel, OBITAY Design, Gimbal, Portland Code School, Urban Airship, Gard Communications, Portland Art Museum, Portland Parks & Recreation, and the Oregon Community Foundation.

Heading into the Summer season

We could NOT be more excited! This Summer season is shaping up to be tremendous.

We're already distributing pianos to artists and design studios like ADX, The Good Mod, and Roundhouse. And we'll be unveiling them at our Summer kickoff concert at the Portland Art Museum on June 26th!

You'll be able to find our pianos out on the street starting June 29th. There will be more than ever this year and they'll be everywhere, including Pioneer Courthouse Square, on the streets, in businesses, and in select Portland parks. And all of them will be open to the public for you to play.

But that's not all. This year, you'll be able to find all our pianos using our new mobile app, produced in cooperation with Portland Code School and Urban Airship. We think it's a great synthesis of public art and high tech. Stay tuned for more details.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for the latest news. And don't forget to sign up for our new mailing list below. We'll stay in touch!

Piano! Push Play! at ADX "Gifted 2014"

The piano that we placed at ADX will be part of the "Gifted 2014" holiday celebration on Saturday, December 13th from 12pm to 9pm.

Come see our artists Asher Fulero, Becca Schultz, and Theresa Silveyra in concert throughout the day. You may even want to pick up a CD or two of some wonderful piano music featuring these very same artists! ( They make great stocking stuffers, hint hint!).

Then, be sure to stay and experience the wonderfulness of all of the artisans at ADX. It's one of our favorite creative spaces in Portland!

For more information, 

see http://www.adxportland.com

or https://www.facebook.com/events/745963268786442/

Our last summer concert!

By Kela Parker

Piano! Push Play! closed out the 2014 season with a sweet serenade benefit concert for the Children’s Cancer Society, featuring some of our favorite regular performers as well as special guests. The concert was held at the Portland Art Museum, in the outdoor courtyard where our red upright piano was stationed for two and a half months!  Like many of the pianos that circulate through Piano! Push Play!’s nonprofit piano relocation program, this piano was a “rescue,” and after the concert, it was donated to local Good News Community Health Center.

 But before that happened, we brought together a diverse bill of local musicians to send the season off right. The evening kicked off with jazz trio Party of Three (Stephanie Cooke on piano, Sam Hallam on bass, and James Ford on drums). Cooke was also a co-mastermind behind the event, as she has helped with CCA fundraisers in the past and the cause is one that is close to her heart. Having contributed her solo piano music to Piano! Push Play!’s CD release earlier in 2014, Cooke is now getting to branch out into a collaborative role in Party of Three. Next up was local performer and composer Kela Parker, who played a solo set of her original songs for piano. Parker has been a supporter of Piano! Push Play! from the early days, when founder Megan McGeorge was inspired to start playing music again while hanging out and playing duets at Parker’s music studio.

Also a contributor to the CD release, Parker has two albums out (released under Houswife and available at kelaparker.com) and is currently working on her third. One of the highlights of the night was new-to-Portland vocal trio the Von Trapp Family Singers, who are all related to the famous Von Trapp family, of “Sound of Music” fame. The Von Trapps were accompanied by Cooke on piano, and sang pretty harmonies that, indeed, harkened back to the meadows and hillsides of Austria.

Next was soloist Asher Fulero, who, as usual, sat down at the piano and simply let the music stream out of him. Asher performs his compositions and improvisations around Portland and his music can be discovered at asherfulero.com. Closing out the night were some piano duets with Cooke and local classical pianist and teacher Grace Shimer, followed by, in Piano! Push Play! fashion, whomever in the crowd felt like tickling the ivories. One of the great things about Piano! Push Play! is that the audience can also participate, so make sure to keep an eye out for the next crop of pianos appearing around downtown Portland as the weather starts warming up again in 2015. Until then, make sure to grab a copy of our compilation CD to get a taste of the awesome diversity of local pianists we support.

Living Room Performance

He looks homeless, or at least a very, very persistent traveller. He is wearing far too many layers of clothing for the day's weather, each one with an older story than the last. There are several piles of bundles and plastic bags, his possessions, sitting beside the piano. They remind me of a New York sidewalk during a garbage strike.

He relinquishes the bench easily for each new player, retreating to the nearby stairs to listen as they play. When they finish, if there is no one else waiting their turn, he returns to the bench and resumes his meditation.

It's both more and less than music. He has both hands on the keys, both hands in motion, the left repeating simple patterns, the right repeatedly striking first one single key, then another. It is not noise, not random; all the notes he makes are in tune. He occasionally strikes a wrong note, but if so it is clearly a mistake as he returns to the pattern.

The sound evokes a sense of Satie in its whole tone scale or Glass in its minimalism and repetition, but the music, if it is that, lacks any discernible organization, intent or goal. He is not trained, he is not playing a learned piece from memory.  His hands are simply moving.

He sways as he plays, moving side to side as the patterns shift and change. He is both here at the piano and somewhere very far away. If he notices his audience, he shows no sign. He plays on and on as people walk by or come and go, sitting for a time at the nearby plaza benches.

This is a street person's living room performance, an informal insight into the music he hears in his head, that he plays for himself. 

It is a performance only possible at a public piano.

 

Please join us at one of our pianos, either today or at one of our events. We'd love to hear you play or to listen alongside you.