Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Sound of 22 Pianos

7/16/15 inks, colored pencils
Have you ever heard 22 pianos being played simultaneously in the same location by a wide variety of pianists? I have – and the description that comes to mind is cacophonous. Still, it was a festive cacophony to launch the 2015 Pianos in the Parks program at Lake Union Park today.

Painted and turned into art pieces by local artists, the donated pianos will be placed in King County parks for the next month to encourage visitors to play. Afterwards, the pianos will be auctioned to benefit a variety of arts and music organizations in Seattle and King County.

Last year I sketched a couple of pianos I spotted in my ‘hood – one at Green Lake and one at Maple Leaf Park – where passers-by would occasionally play. At today’s unveiling celebration, at any given moment, nearly every piano was being played. Sometimes it was an accomplished, confident pianist playing a well-practiced piece. Sometimes it was a more hesitant player, perhaps a little rusty from years of not having access to a piano. Often it was a kid or two gleefully banging away. (Most sat for only a few minutes, so my sketch of the girl in red is a composite of more than one player.)

7/16/15 ink, watercolor, colored pencils
I caught the event toward its end, so when I was still in the middle of sketching the Viking piano, the artist started disassembling it for transport! Who would have thought that a piano would be a fleeting subject to sketch?


  1. I'm not sure hearing that many pianos at once is a good thing. I like the sketches...especially the Viking one.

  2. Sketching an event like this is great. I'm less sure about listening to it if everyone was playing something different :-)


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