Y'all know I'm a sucker for a street piano. Turns out the one in Joshua Tree really has some history behind it.
Poor thing is as flat as can be - could really use a tuning. Now the public pianos I'm familiar with are mostly the ones in LA left from last year's Play Me I'm Yours project so I had to turn to Wikipedia to get schooled about this one:
The Public Piano Project in Joshua Tree California began as a public grand piano Valentine Gift to the community in 1995 as the Self Serve Serenade by artist Piano Bob (aka Bob Fenger). In 2002 Piano Bob began a donated piano consolidation project building a weather proof outdoor piano from the parts of 3 pianos and installed April 2004 in front of Joshua Tree Health Foods. It was enjoyed by thousands of Joshua Tree National Park Visitors and locals for nearly 2 years and was reinstalled 20 April 2012 at the Coyote Corner Gift Shop in Joshua Tree as the first Public Prepared Piano. The piano is reminiscent of a Gamelan Orchestra prepared with everyday items such as coins, screws, paper mutes, wedged into the strings in a typical John Cage manner(inventor of the prepared piano in the 1940s also see Bob Fenger's Acoustisizer at Prepared piano 2.10). The Public Prepared Piano is the third phase of the Public Piano Project dedication to unknown closet pianists, art in public places, and instant drum circle fun around a keyboard. Through regular tuning and maintenance of the public pianos another opportunity presented itself for the public to observe, learn and interact with the total Public Piano Project experience. Questions like: how long does it stay in tune outside? The short answer: the colder the better the more in tune. The fact that Joshua Tree is in the High Desert above Palm Springs with many 100 degree plus days in the summer gave numerous opportunities for tuning, sharing and exchanging ideas. The artist's stated intention: 'The Public Piano Project creates momentary beauty thoughts and ideas that resonate out across fields, parking lots and sidewalks. It invites others to play along and gives way to song and laughter, accidental bonding and new friends; even possibly an ephemeral center of insight and change'. On 21 December 2012 Piano Bob launched his fourth phase of the Public Piano Project with the Prepared and Unprepared dueling pianos for peace at the Joshua Tree Hospice. Public Piano Locations Public Piano Tour Pictures 2007.