Part of The 20th Leeds International Piano Competition’s Piano Trail this September
Ten new public sculptures made entirely from discarded pianos, including a six-metre-tall tripod of giant elephant tusks, will celebrate the piano’s pivotal role in our musical heritage for a free public event as part of the Leeds International Piano Competition this September.
Edinburgh’s Pianodrome are delighted to present ten new sculptures in public spaces across Leeds city centre, for this year’s two-week festival run by Leeds International Piano Competition. Animating the streets in prominent locations, the interactive sculptures, all created – down to the flathead screws – entirely from upcycled pianos, will be on display from the 4 to 19 September.
Each Piano Trail sculpture will tell its own unique story celebrating the craftsmanship, musicianship and long lasting impact that the world’s most famous instrument plays in our daily lives. Among them, ‘Half of a Piano Cube’; is a precarious pyramid of three playable pianos in Leeds Central Station conjuring up new ways of thinking about collaborative music playing, and the six-metre-high ‘Elephant in the Room’ is an enormous tripod of elephant’s tusks topped with ‘ivories’ on Cookridge Street just outside the Henry Moore Institute celebrating the life cycle of a piano and its often forgotten value.
In addition, responding to the ten original Pianodrome sculptures, five artists and five community groups all local to Leeds will each transform a playable piano manifesting a parallel piano trail in musical and thematic dialogue with the sculptures made in Scotland.
Central to the Piano Trail’s core theme of ‘Growing Stronger Together’ they will explore topics from mental health and wellbeing to sustainability, with more details announced at the end of August.
Pianodrome Community Interest Company is an Edinburgh based organisation set up in 2017 by bandmates Tim Vincent-Smith and Matthew Wright to build the world’s first amphitheatre made entirely from upcycled pianos. As seen on BBC Online, The Scotsman, The Guardian, BBC Radio 2, Al Jazeera the Pianodrome amphitheatre launched in 2018 premiering at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the Royal Botanic Gardens with more than 18,000 visitors, attracting critical acclaim and international recognition.
On creating The Leeds Piano Trail, Pianodrome Directors, Tim Vincent-Smith and Matthew Wright commented:
“We never dreamed that so soon after completing our first up-cycled piano amphitheatre we would be working with such a prestigious organisation as The Leeds International Piano Competition to create a series of public sculptures.
“This is a wonderful commission and a wonderful opportunity for us to work with local artists and community groups, to explore new ideas and create new work in celebration of the role the piano has played in our lives for over 300 years. We offer this gift to the people of Leeds in the hope that it will bring joy.”
Pianodrome now work from their warehouse in Granton, Edinburgh, on projects including live shows, online ‘Pianodrome Sessions’, sculpture design and build and support for teams building their own Pianodrome amphitheatres across the globe, most recently in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Leeds International Piano Competition devised the Piano Trail to bring its passion for great music making out of the concert hall and onto the city streets for everyone to enjoy and explore through a diverse programme of live performances and immersive events over the two weeks of the Competition.
Adam Gatehouse, Artistic Director Leeds International Piano Competition commented:
“When we started planning the Piano Trail for the 2021 Leeds International Piano Competition I immediately thought of Pianodrome, whose amazing work with recycled pianos had already intrigued me. We struck on the idea of commissioning from Pianodrome 10 sculptures made of recycled pianos to stand alongside the 10 pianos spread across the city, in such a way that they would interact with each other. What they have come up with is nothing short of inspirational, and will I am sure be a hugely striking and exciting landmark across the city during the Piano Trail and even beyond.”
The trail is free and designed to take approximately one hour to walk. More specifics on exactly where to take in each sculpture and the complete programme will be announced at the end of August.