Beyond the Piano Tie: 5 Absurdly Cool Pianos

If you’ll be in Los Angeles between now and May 3rd, keep your eyes open for the latest public art installation – 30 pianos, designed and decorated by local artists and community organizations, with one simple instruction: “Play Me, I’m Yours”!  The art celebrates conductor and pianist Jeffrey Kahane’s 15th anniversary as music director for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Similar Street Pianos have been featured in several US cities over the past 5 years, including Birmingham in 2008, New York in 2010 and Austin in 2011. Check out their official website to download a map of the piano locations and find out more information.  You can also upload your own photos, videos and stories to be featured on the website.  Just a look through their library shows just how creative artists can get with a seemingly simple piano.

We’ve shared photos of crazy guitar designs here before, but what about pianos?  Here are a 5 absurdly cool piano designs that caught our eye:


Chichi, Rocking Piano1. Chichi, the “Rocking Piano”:
This piano really rocks – back and forth, that is.  UK designer Sarah Davenport crafted this idea around a standard baby grand from the 1900s and literally rocks the player as a way of strengthening the relationship between the pianist and the piano.



Burning piano2. Burning Piano:
Ok, not really a piano design, but a unique performance nonetheless.  In 2008, Japanese pianist Yosuke Yamashita donned a fireproof suit to play a piece as the piano enveloped in flames.  Believe it or not, it was actually the second time he performed the stunt.



Piano table3. Piano Table:
Would you love to have a piano in your home, but the space is too limiting?  Georg Bohle’s Piano Table design works double-duty – just don’t get any crumbs between the keys!  The electric keyboard is made out of oak wood and is completely hidden when the lid is down.  All yours for the retail price of $6,000.


Hydra Piano4.  Hydra Piano:
This other-worldly design by Macedonian designer Apostol Tnokovski was reportedly inspired by a Lady Gaga performance.  The concept is also heavily influenced by Hydra, the mythological 7-headed sea monster, hence the name.


Schimmel Pegasus5. Schimmel Pegasus:
Italian designer Luigi Colani takes us to another dimension with this unique look. The Pegasus offers an ergonomic keyboard, over 200 strings, and 7 1/4 octaves. Its curved soundboard also results in a highly-efficient resonance system.  Reportedly Lenny Kravitz and Prince each own one of these pianos.






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