Piano Information:

"Lili" — by designer: Amy Ruppel

Photography by:   Benji Vuong

Photography by: Benji Vuong


(Off the street)

On her way to her forever home.


Amy Ruppel


Lili Boulanger


David & Evelyn Lowry

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.



I like to let the style and medium of an object determine the way an art project is going to go, and in this case, the beautiful dark wood grain of this well-loved piano led me towards a loosely crafted work of folk art. I had the idea of adding birdhouses to the piano before I even received it, so I mimicked that dark grain by creating small structures using shou-sugi-ban (the Japanese traditional art of charred cedar). Now, where there are birdhouses, there are birds. These wooden birds are a bridge between the charred wood of their homes and the painted natural elements around them. They are sweet ambassadors welcoming you to come over and play, to see and hear one another’s song.

*All of the cedar added to the piano is scrap from my neighbor’s fence building project. I have awesome neighbors.



Amy Ruppel is an illustrator, painter, woodworker and printmaker in Portland, OR, and nature is her thing. When she’s not painting or drawing it, she’s hiking in it.


Namesake Musician:
Lili Boulanger

Marie-Juliette Olga Lili Boulanger (21 August 1893 – 15 March 1918) was a French composer, the younger sister of the noted composer and composition teacher Nadia Boulanger.


A Parisian-born child prodigy, Boulanger's talent was apparent at the age of two, when Gabriel Fauré, a friend of the family and later one of Boulanger's teachers, discovered she had perfect pitch. Her parents, both of whom were musicians, encouraged their daughter's musical education. She accompanied her ten-year-old sister Nadia to classes at the Paris Conservatoire before she was five, shortly thereafter sitting in on classes on music theory and studying organ with Louis Vierne. She also sang and played piano, violin, cello and harp. Her teachers included Marcel Tournier and Alphonse Hasselmans.



In 1912 Boulanger competed in the Prix de Rome but during her performance she collapsed from illness. She returned in 1913 at the age of 19 to win the composition prize for her Faust et Hélène, becoming the first woman composer to win the prize. Nadia had given up entering after four unsuccessful attempts and had focused her efforts upon her sister Lili, first a student of Nadia and then of Paul Vidal, Georges Caussade and Gabriel Fauré—the last of whom was greatly impressed by the young woman's talents and frequently brought songs for her to read. Lili was greatly affected by the 1900 death of her father; many of her works touch on themes of grief and loss. Her work was noted for its colorful harmony and instrumentation and skillful text setting. Aspects of Fauré and Claude Debussy can be seen in her compositions, and Arthur Honegger was influenced by her innovative work.


– Wikipedia: Lili Boulanger



David & Evelyn Lowry



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.


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