31. 08. 2016
Bringing people together
And now we bring all the elements together…acrobatic routines are being refined, piano repertoire is being fine-tuned and polished, the soundscapes of locals testifying on everything from first household piano memories to the nerves of piano lessons and first public performances, to the colour and swirl of the local country dance where nearly all the community would come together to dance, romance, feast and celebrate life in often very remote country halls…all finding their place in the arc of the show.
You’re never quite sure with some shows what underlying story it’s revealing until you go through this process of assembling all the elements together and gauge how they talk to and resonate off each other. For me the touchstone of the whole journey thus far has been that sense of ‘community’ that life around a piano can generate. Whether it’s the community of family gathered round the home instrument for the Sunday night singalong, the community at a country church service united in song, or the shared excitement within the community that Blind Harold Raymond and his show was due on his yearly pilgrimage around the remote regions of the state.
Pianos helped glue people together, sometimes in an era well before sport became such a dominant Australian social bond. And that sense of coming together round the piano to share time, music, movement, surprise, concentration and memories seems to me to be the heart of this new work. That the prime act of reclamation is that of a particular sort of musical communion that pianos in small regional communities have provided over the years and one that many of our interviewees lamented had been lost in one way or another…
What act of communion will the piece in performance generate with the communities that spurred and inspired us thus far on the journey…we can’t wait to find out!