A couple of weeks ago we salvaged an upright piano from a structure in Birmingham. The piano was in such a state of disrepair, that it could have never been used to produce music again. This once fine tuned piano seemed to have lost its luster in the dirty abandoned building. Our SA team has usually seen these discarded to the nearest landfill or even to the burn pile. Most upright pianos are bulky, heavy and hard to move. But unlike most pianos, this particular one, for some reason, attracted our interest. Of course a few minutes later, it was being loaded and hauled back to Cullman.
After we arrived back at the store, the instrument that was once carefully constructed by the hands of a skilled craftsman, was now being de-constructed by the hands of an artist. As we began this process, we started to see the beauty of the interior parts and patina of the individual pieces that was hidden inside. We saw the strings tightly pulled against the cast iron harp. We saw the wood wrapped velvet hammers that once created the soft tones of sound when they struck those strings. We imagined the small hands of a child sitting at the keys, carefully pecking out a simple melody. We will never know how many fingers ran across the keys during its lifespan or the amount of pure joy experienced by the many listening ears, but we can appreciate the history of the “pieces” that made up the “whole”. But now, it was our time to create a new history for the piano using our team’s imagination. Our future goal is to adapt these individual parts into a work of art that will be available for future generations to enjoy. Continuing the story of its history by up-cycling its salvageable parts in the present, only allows for its continued appreciation in the future.
Stay tuned for the big reveal as in coming weeks we give new life to a piece of this old piano by transforming it into a useful piece of building art!
Written by: Lisa Jones & Garlan Gudger