Thurs. August 5th to Sunday 8th ~ Sunset Piano Comes Home to Main Street Half Moon Bay
Thu August 5
One event on August 6, 2021 at 12:00 am
One event on August 7, 2021 at 12:00 am
One event on August 8, 2021 at 12:00 am
In collaboration with the Sunset Piano project, Make It Main Street presents “Main Street Piano” Thursday August 5 through Sunday 8th. Sunset Piano was founded in Half Moon Bay in 2013 by Coastside resident Mauro Ffortissimo and coconspirator Dean Mermell. Its subversive origins were celebrated in the documentary film Twelve Pianos, and in 2015 it evolved to become the annual phenomenon of Flower Piano at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. The pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 springtime event and challenged the creators, performers and fans to find new ways to connect and create. As the community emerged from the restraints, Ffortissimo and his Coastside collaborators found a way to reinvent this public performance art yet again. Sunset Piano returns to its Half Moon Bay roots as has “Main Street Piano”, the centering feature of August’s “Make It Main Street”.
Main Street Piano is 3 grand pianos and a Garden Piano sculpture installed in gardens, courtyards and public spaces on Half Moon Bay’s historic Main Street, with scheduled and spontaneous performances by internationally known Coastside concert pianists and accompanists from Thursday August 5 through Sunday August 8.
Beginning on Thursday, August 5 expect performances by Julliard alum Lisa Spector , jazzman Steve Abrams with bassist Heath Proskin, Esther Aeschbach, the soulful Stephanie Newsome, and Sammi Foti paying tribute to iconic female musicians, and duets with Ffortissimo and flautist Viviana Guzman.
Twelve Pianos is the featured film for Make It Main Street event, with 2 screenings, a Q&A with the director and a few of the featured performers. Directed by Dean Mermell, Twelve Pianos documents the trajectory of Ffortissimo’s misadventures with the various agencies that objected when he and a few friends dragged a piano onto the bluffs near his home at the end of Kelly Avenue one winter afternoon to play a nocturne for the whales as the sun set over Half Moon Bay. While the community delighted in the surprising appearance of a piano on the Coastside trail, and the opportunity to hear it played so gorgeously, the City red-tagged it and demanded its removal. What evolved was public performance art project and series of piano installations up and down the San Mateo County coast, documented in the film Twelve Pianos.
A Garden Piano sculpture installed at Mc Dutra’s park provides musical underpinnings to Thursday’s’ Speakers’ Space feature of Make It Main Street, and opportunities for music students to perform. Celebrating our young talent, Main Street Piano hopes to invite the community – especially our Coastside youth, to step up to the piano and claim performance time over the weekend. A limited number of 10-minute performance slots will be open for sign up.
During Make It Main Street, there will be a Piano Liberation event at 720 Main St, near The Ark and Sacriledge Brewing & Kitchen. Ffortissimo will play while simultaneously orchestrating the deconstruction of a 1920’s upright piano. Ffortissimo will transform parts into sculptures, while local Luthier Fred Crowder will convert the lumber to build guitars over the course of the coming year. The deconstruction and reconstruction will be documented; a guitar made from recovered piano lumber and a film about its origins will be ready to play for Make It Main Street V.2022.
Make It Main Street happens on the 1st Thursday of every month from 3-7 PM. The Makers Marketplace, Speakers’ Space, Acoustic Music Circle and Movie Night features of MIMS are Thursday, August 5 from 3-7PM only.
The pianos will be in place for the duration of the weekend, with both scheduled and spontaneous performances through 5 PM Sunday, August 8.
Performance schedule is evolving. Please visit MakeItMainStreetHMB.org for performance and scheduling details. Contact MakeItMainStreet@coastside.net