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Piano no. 28, Crazy Horst, Hamburg, Germany

“St. Pauli ja Reeperbahn, sinne veri vetää uudestaan!”

We did a quick trip to Hamburg, taking the bus from Berlin, and staying a night there.

Of course, in addition to seeing the city and the sights, I was looking for a piano to record. In St.Pauli area, we found this nice bar, Crazy Horst, and an upright piano in the corner. It is a Wurlitzer, brand which is quite familiar for their vintage electric pianos which have a distinctive sound, used for example by Supertramp.

So, having the good old song by a finnish singer Irwin playing in my head (see below the piano video), we captured this piano on a Friday evening. And we also found The Beatles!

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Piano no. 27, Steam Hellsinki, Helsinki, Finland

One more quick Helsinki piano!

This one is in a steampunk-themed bar Steam Hellsinki, at Kamppi district in the center.

Cool decoration, don’t you think? And the bar is definitely a great addition to Helsinki nightlife! There’s actually also a second piano in the bar, but I chose this one.

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Piano no. 26, Espan Lava, Helsinki Finland

Up next was Espan Lava, a public stage in the center of Helsinki, close to all the number one tourist sights.

Every summer there are lots of gigs there, pop, rock, jazz, ethnic, etc… On a fine day there’s a great opportunity to enjoy great music for free, and you see lots of tourists strolling around, as well as locals. The stage is located at the eastern end of the Esplanadi park, a very popular place to hang around.

Also, this is not the first time I play at the stage: in 2011, we had a gig there with my old band Illusion Granted. And yes, we also played The Girl with Bangs, this same song I’m now playing measure by measure.

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Piano no. 25, Kapsäkki Music Theater, Helsinki, Finland

Another nostalgic trip!

Kapsäkki Music Theater is located in the district of Vallila, neighbouring the bohemian former worker’s district Kallio, and Hermanni, where I used to live for almost four years. So, very familiar area for me.

There is a nice Steinway grand at the theater, where also one of my idols, the great finnish pianist Iiro Rantala often performs.

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Piano no. 24, Myyrmäki, Vantaa

Vantaa is a city right next to Helsinki at north, known for example for having the Helsinki-Vantaa airport.

Myyrmäki is one of the larger centers of Vantaa. The station nowadays has some nice artwork, which is great, as it used to be quite bleak.

I actually had to shoot this clip two times. Between the shootings, the piano had been replaced. The first one had suffered quite a bit of roughness, that tends to happen at Myrtsi.

Hopefully this one has a better future ahead of it, and many people find joy playing and listening to it.

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Piano no. 23, RAY, Espoo, Finland

Back in Finland, my country of origin!

Seeing friends, having fun, relaxing at countryside, sauna, barbecue, finally some nice sunny and warm weather in August after a lukewarm July, also a disturbing rise of tension in opinions about immigrants and refugees, worries about economical situation….

This is what has been going on in Finland this summer.

The first piano I got was from an unexpected place. Thanks to a friend, I got access to a piano at headquarters of a company called RAY, in Espoo.

RAY, Raha-automaattiyhdistys, or Finland’s Slot Machine Association makes all the slot machines in Finland, and nowadays also online games.

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Piano no. 22, Intermezzo Piano Bar, Bucharest

After Veliko Tarnovo up next was a train trip to Bucharest, Romania.

Bucharest was very pleasant and friendly city, and while you still can see some of the effects of the communist era, the feeling is hopeful and positive.

Intermezzo Piano Bar, located at Intercontinental Hotel, was a place of intrique in the communist era, frequently visited by spies, journalist etc.

This stylish bar also provided the first Steinway for the quest.

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Piano no. 21, Youth Centre Младежки дом

The next place we visited was Veliko Tarnovo Youth Centre Младежки дом (Mladejki Dom).

There is a music school in the house as well, and we were granted access to play the Petrof grand in the hall upstairs.

They asked me if I’d like to teach something to the children next time I’m around, though I feel that the children can teach more to me :)

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Piano no. 20, Nadezda, Veliko Tarnovo

Back to business, with another piano from Veliko Tarnovo, and the start of the second part of the piece.

With a little help from a local guy I met during the stay in breaking the language barrier, we visited two places. The first one was a building called Chitalishte Nadezda. It is a theater, a cultural center, and also certain historically important events have taken place there.

The placate you can see in the video mentions about them:

“the Union of Eastern Rumelia with the Bulgarian Principality (1885), the choice of Prince Ferdinand, 3rd, 4th and 5th, Great National Assemblies and the amendments of the Tarnovo Constitution”

There were preparations for a play going on in the theater hall, so we couldn’t go there, but, there was this upright in another room.

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The song is coming together!

The first part of the song is now completed, and I decided to give a taste of how the song is beginning to come together.

So, here it is, the audio from the first 19 pianos played in 6 different countries combined:

I’m now taking a small holiday from posting here, but, I will be back with more pianos in August, you can be sure of it!

See you later and stay tuned!

ps. Check out what a fellow Finnish musician Alexi Laiho is doing:
100quitarsfromhel Instead of traveling around, he brings 100 guitarists around the world to play with him in a concert in Helsinki 14th August. This is going to be epic!!!

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