Murray Bridge piano sanctuary hits high note with funding for expansion
The show will go on for the attraction, as visitors will be able to enjoy the sights and sounds of six additional pianos by the end of the year.
An expansion of Murray Bridge’s piano sanctuary will make it a musical star attraction for the Murraylands.
An additional six pianos will be installed for the public to play by the end of 2022.
The Murray Bridge council recently received a $5000 grant from Country Arts SA to fully realise the project, which was first introduced in 2017.
Project curator Jesse Budel said there was more to these pianos than met the eye – and ear.
“Pianos are a significant part of Australia’s cultural heritage, being a social and entertainment fixture of nearly every colonial household,” Mr Budel said.
“Over the past century, many of these instruments have exchanged hands and travelled vast distances, resulting in rich and detailed stories and experiences for each piano.”
The pianos’ decaying state will alter their structure, appearance and sound, but Mr Budel said this was the whole point.
“Although seen as cultural icons, it is often the case that once pianos move beyond the traditional understandings of playability and functionality – becoming aged and derelict – they are neglected and ignored,” he said.
Mr Budel will perform with internationally renowned pianist Gabriella Smart at the the sanctuary’s first event, a twilight concert on March 4, 2023, during the Adelaide Fringe.
The piano sanctuary is located at Carey’s Park, adjacent to Mannum Road between Bigmore and Guerin Roads.
More information: Follow Piano Sanctuary on Facebook.
Disclosure: Several years ago, Mr Budel purchased a piano from Peri and Keren Strathearn, co-owners of Murray Bridge News. He did not place the piano in the sanctuary, but instead set it on fire for another artistic project.
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They bear a striking resemblance to goods left out for hard rubbish collection, which is a pity. I would like to see funds put towards placing well maintained pianos in shared community spaces - ie: shopping centres, supermarkets, Church Halls and Community Centres, as opposed to having derelict, non-functioning pianos dumped on to our streets and into our parks to rot and attract vermin. I don't see the art in it, I see disrespect and avoidance of dump fees.
Please put a shelter over them to keep them in better condition for people to enjoy longer