The Herne Hill Piano
The Herne Hill piano is greatly loved by the local community. It was first introduced in 2012 as part of the "Play me I'm Your's" project by Luke Jerram.
To find its exact location have a look at our map.
Early evening one Sunday when the market was packing up I heard this great song from the piano and when I went over and asked if they wouldn’t mind doing it again for the video they said O I’m not sure we can remember it – we just made it up – we only just met!
Above is the video with a few clips of the improvisations and with an interview with James.
The song is great and was beginning to pull a crowd.
“I wish things could be better than this.”
Jamie calls by the station piano on her way home from work between Brixton and Dulwich. She stops she says and plays a few chords and after half an hour or so has got a song. As the local hairdresser walks past smiling she says to me “She’s good.”
The piano creates a safe place. A woman on her own in a major city, in a station walkway for over half an hour, engrossed in making music that makes people smile – that has to be a lovely thing.
THE STATION PIANO AT HERNE HILL
The station piano is wonderful. Since its arrival last year, -a beautiful, homely old- fashioned upright piano, sitting invitingly in the station walkway, – it has been a fantastic addition to Herne Hill. Basically everyday life here in Herne Hill is now accompanied by live music. Going to the station or going to the shops – you are likely to hear a background hesitant tinkle or competent run of blues chords. Whatever it is, it will lift your spirits and immediately shift your day into a more tuneful one. And, – more than that,- it also makes you think, crikey, who might that be? It’s like having an expert invisible community DJ selecting not only a rolling, surprising, sequence of contrasting tunes,- old, new, soul, classical, -but also a rolling, surprising, sequence of contrasting players,- of all ages, shapes and sizes. In the morning a man in his business suit, in the afternoon some schoolchildren,- in the evening anything is possible.
Anthony was the first person that got asked these two main questions :- How did you get into playing the piano and Why do you like playing the Herne Hill piano.
Anthony said “I got into music when I heard it on video games – the backing tracks, I wasn’t financially stable so I got myself a cheap keyboard and some books and learned to read sheet music and compose.”
He taught himself initially by ear to play the music he heard on video games classical, soul, jazz – then taught himself to read music and is now at college learning to compose music for video games. He plays beautifully.
“That what I just played was one of my compositions. Thats what I do now, I decided to make a career out of it , I compose music for games. I’m studying it now, its a passion.”