Pianodrome: Create the first amphitheater in the world made of recycled pianos

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A LOT of people have an old instrument sitting in a closet somewhere, whether it’s a guitar you first played once, never to be seen again, or a keyboard gathering dust in the attic.

Now two musicians are on a mission to reuse old instruments to create something entirely new from the old.

Tim Vincent-Smith and Matthew Wright co-direct the Pianodrome Community Interest Company. Together, the band members created the world’s first amphitheater made entirely of recycled pianos.

For the first time at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in 2018, the duo have created a brand new Pianodrome for this year’s Festival Fringe.

Located in the historic Old Royal High School, the venue will host everything from folk, classical and modern music to dance performances and theatre.

A bar featuring bespoke Bellfield Brewery beer – which was sung throughout the brewing process – will accompany food and soft drinks from Cyrenians, a homeless charity.

Vincent-Smith, who designed the amphitheater and who is to perform there, said it was a “dream venue”. He told the Sunday National: “In Paris there are these semi-circular amphitheaters that are just made of concrete and nobody organizes them or schedules them. It is a free space for the people of the place. It was an inspiration. And the Greek amphitheaters were an inspiration for this.

“I also wanted to have a dream location for my group. Having the audience around you is so exciting.

While ticketed events will take place as more than a dozen shows take place on the site, each day will also see one free, ticket-less show. Wright said it was important for the Pianodrome to be an accessible space for high-quality music.

The musician said, “There is such a range of shows. We have our noon concerts from 1 p.m. every day. We managed to get funding, so there are quality musicians, but it’s also free. It’s everything from folk, piano music, classical music and plenty of space for people to come with their own instruments or play the piano themselves. It is a space of relaxation apart from all the rest.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to hear beautiful music, play music yourself, and let people bring their own creativity to the space.

“It’s really important for us to have free events because we want to encourage people to take advantage of this space and enjoy the Pianodrome and the aim is not to make money – we know why we don’t can’t make a lot of money with a crazy project like that.

“We want to bring people into spaces that take them out of their own worries and lives and meet other people and hang out in a space where they can feel creative and be part of a scene.”

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