"Christine" — by designers: Travis Abels & Peter Nevins
Travis Abels & Peter Nevins
We rescue pianos and put them on the street for everybody to enjoy. We want to give pianists more opportunities to play for the public.
So often, we think of a piano in terms of the sound it creates. From the outside it seems simple: push a key and a note rings out. But seldom do we marvel at what’s behind its wood covers — the clever engineering, connections and precise design that enable a lever to push a rod that swings a hammer and strikes a coiled wire, dialed to an exact tension to produce a set of vibrations that give us C#. A simple keystroke sets off a miracle of movement.
Starting from a place of wonder, we set to continuing this chain of movement into a new direction— a rolling seascape, a dancing dragon, a musical mermaid. The idea was to convert the energy of a piano player into something unexpected, something that would be unique to each player, each song. Like flickers of a fire, each moment would be the first and last of its kind, never to repeat the same exact composition. No song would look the same way twice.
After hundreds of daydreams, brainstorms and burns from hot-glue guns, the Piano-Powered Puppet was made. It’s a celebration of the elaborate systems that operate our lives. A note is more than a keystroke. A decision is more than an impulse. Behind every action, is a unique set of desires. For us, this project was fueled by a desire to connect - with those around us, ourselves and each other. Our hope is that whoever plays this piano is connected with a version of themselves that is filled with wonder, mindfulness and an deepened desire to play.
Travis Abels & Peter Nevins
Travis Abels is an artist, filmmaker and trailer editor living in Portland, Oregon. Every project he does starts and ends with the goal of connection. His empathy-building project, Curious Ear brings together folks who might not otherwise meet, via 7’ tall ears and mouths, that connect to eachocher from demographically different parts of the city. His film trailers (most recently for Westworld and I, Tonya) aim to connect an audience's brain to its heart . Currently, he's working on Laurelhurst, a comedy web series about a meter maid who's hunger for connection makes him horrible at his job. Piano. Push. Play. is one of Travis’ favorite Portland initiatives, and he's over the moon to have been chosen to participate.
Namesake Musician: Christine McVie
[Christine McVie is] an English singer, songwriter and keyboardist, best known as one of the three lead vocalists and the keyboardist of Fleetwood Mac. She has also released three solo albums. McVie is known for her smoky, alto vocals and her direct but poignant lyrics, which concentrated on love and relationships. AllMusic describes her as an "Unabashedly easy-on-the-ears singer/songwriter, and the prime mover behind some of Fleetwood Mac's biggest hits." Eight of her songs appeared on Fleetwood Mac's 1988 Greatest Hits album. In 1998 McVie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Fleetwood Mac and received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.
ABOUT PIANO! PUSH PLAY!
We rescue pianos, put them on the street for everyone to enjoy, and then give them to schools, community centers, artists, and others who will love them as much as we do.