Back in 2017, Wiltshire based mixed media artist Julieann Worrall Hood first graced our windows with her installation ‘Joyful Sound.’ Consisting of over 1000 salvaged piano keys which otherwise would have been lost, this artwork has become an integral characteristic of The Piano Shop. It has brought about exchanges with customers as well as passers-by who were struck by the distinctive sculpture.
This is now the 6th iteration of the original theme, and it powerfully reiterates Julieann’s motif of ‘shaping sound’, lifting a lid (quite literally) on the inner workings of the piano. The talented designer and artist Charlotte Macmillan has overseen this new display, fresh from her collaboration with Coldplay for their Music of the Spheres World Tour. Charlotte worked with the sinuous backbone of the original structure, weaving strips of light around it, along to where it meets our upright Yamaha U1. The piano has been given a dramatic makeover, designed by Charlotte, and finished by the experienced scenic and props painter Alice Bogaerde.
The synesthetic quality of this piece conjures up certain qualities of music such as Legato (smoothly without intervals) and Glissando (to glide). The piano feels like a timeless instrument; one with which a broader section of society has been able to interact with over the last 300 years, and it is central to our ethos that pianos continue to be accessible. We work hard to try and realise this through our community projects and with this inviting display that faces the busy London Road.
With Joyful Sound 2022, the traditional craft of hundreds of keys are interwoven between thin branches of neon light, in an eye-catching combination of pink, blue and green. If you stop and peer in after dark, you will see the shop floor illuminated by these Tokyo-esque phosphorescent strips, giving an urban glow to this space. The intricate craft of the piano material is animated by Charlotte’s playful, vivid design on the Yamaha U1 and then finished by Alice with lavish gold-leaf over the piano cover and energetic streaks of neon across the front. This was a collaborative process we were proud to be able to facilitate. It is a privilege to work alongside such respected artists whose work we love, and be able to witness new variations of our window display.