New Glasgow theatre space made entirely of recycled pianos in UK first

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Back in 2017, we published a story about Glasgow Piano City; a project that brings music to unexpected places by putting cast-off and reclaimed pianos into public spaces. The initiative aims to create more opportunities for people to play and give explicit permission to play freely, irrespective of age or ability. This year, Glasgow Piano City have used 40 pianos to create seating for the Springburn Park auditorium!

You can read our previous story on the project here: Bringing music to Glasgow, one piano at a time!

The Guardian have reported on the new space for music and performance in Springburn Park. We were delighted to read about how these beautiful instruments have been used to transform a community space.

Here’s an excerpt from the article written by Libby Brooks, Scotland correspondent for The Guardian: 

Inside a cavernous steel hut in the middle of Glasgow’s Springburn Park, the sweeping arc of keyboards, lids and carved panels has been taking shape, creating the UK’s first permanent auditorium made entirely of recycled pianos.

Using mainly upright instruments, with a baby grand artfully sliced in half to make a corner balcony, about 40 pianos have been expertly disarticulated to create the tiered seating.

“When you dismantle a piano you end up with a kit of different parts, from the ornate front pieces to the strong planks normally hidden beneath the key,” explains Tom Binns, who founded the Glasgow Piano City project in 2013, finding new uses for unwanted instruments in public places from hospitals to bookshops.

It was Binns who brought together a Glasgow community activist with big plans and the Edinburgh-based instrumental innovators Pianodrome in what he says is a testament to the collaborative potential of social enterprise.

Two year ago, Alex Docherty, a hip-hop artist and chair of Friends of Springburn Park, countered plans to demolish the site where the massive hut stands with a proposal for a community village with an event space, cafe and outdoor classroom.

“When I talk to my gran who grew up in Springburn, it used to have cinemas and places to go,” Docherty says. “But since the decline in industry and the motorway demolitions [creating the unpopular dual carriageways and flyovers that bisect Springburn] they disappeared. We really need a community space in the area.”

You can read the full article on The Guardian’s website and see some images of the space here: www.theguardian.com/glasgow-project-uses-recyled-pianos-create-new-theatre-space