In the summer of 2012 I travelled from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Portland, Oregon, carrying only a backpack and a recording device. Along the way I played as many pianos as possible. I walked into hotels, bars, theaters, music schools and churches, I played pianos in parks, museums, public streets and living rooms of people I had never met before.
In the city of Matanzas, Cuba, lives a big, fat woman. She guards the entrance to the Museum of Pharmaceutics and is very happy to do so, because this particular job, consisting of sitting in a chair all day and chatting with colleagues, maybe even taking a nap every once in a while, requires no physical effort whatsoever.
Then, on that sunny morning, with the heat not yet present but hot enough to make you want to sit down in a chair, trying to find a way to deal with the smelly diesel trucks passing by, that day, when a stranger asked her if he could play the piano, of course she was upset, maybe a little agitated even.
She had to walk the stairs, which took her ages to go up, step by step, panting and sweating, open the doors to the music room, turn on the lights, open the shutters and then go all the way back down the stairs again. Why this stranger wanted to play the piano while in the middle of the square the local school kids were being celebrated, was a complete mystery to her.
released December 31, 2012
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