Throughout West Philly, pianos come into play

Thursday, June 7, 2012

WHYY Newsworks
By Peter Crimmins

At first it seems like a Tom Waits song — a Polish piano tuner sits in the park, tinkering with an old upright. "From a musical perspective, they are not a good instrument," said Piotr Salwinski in choppy English, tapping the keys of a piano in the middle of Clark Park in West Philadelphia. "The story of this piano, somewhere hidden in a warehouse for 30 years. Nobody playing them. Suddenly somebody is going to play them."

Artist Katie Holeman painted a floral pattern on the piano, complete with petals on the keys, a hobbit door in the front, and lanterns hanging from the fingerboard.

Salwinski inspects the unmarked felt on its hammers. "You can see, this piano was never used," he says.

This piano, and seven others scattered in public spaces throughout West Philadelphia, were interpreted by artists at the invitation of the University City District.

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December 2019