“when people haven’t paid to come and see you play and not expecting to see you play its just a different environment a very exciting entertaining environment for me to play in”
Henri Herbert Boogie Woogie Maestro gives travellers a total treat!
We had a great interview with Henri in the morning and a fantastic session at the piano.
A couple of years ago he got 10 million hits playing boogie at St Pancras – “I was getting 1,000 requests a day to friend me on FB – thought I was hacked.”
And Big Thanks Henri for such a great post to launch this blog with its new name … www.streetpianofilm.co.uk
Kevin plays live while HHFilm Festival set up screen and sound system outside the railway station. As folk come home from work dazed from the Friday evening commute – they glance around puzzled as they side step around people on the pavement piecing together a cinema screen and passing leads and mikes around putting a sound system together. Clearly they have done this before.
Within an hour Herne Hill Station forecourt transforms into an outdoor cinema,- a natural auditorium it is filled with a few hundred people who are now settling with drinks, blankets or chairs or all three. They are so comfortable and cozied up it’s if the cinema was there every night.
Big thank you to Herne Hill Free Film Festival for inviting us to screen the piano film on their Launch evening.
I don’t know how often a film is screened in the exact spot that it was made and is watched by the people who are in it. The piano was even wheeled out so could of course get a better view of itself on the big screen in the starring role. The atmosphere was wonderful and I think managed to warm people enough to stay entranced on an evening that was actually quite cold. It was just the best possible location – ever – to have the first screening – So Multos Gratias to HHFFF and especially to Ken Jones for supporting us from day one.
Kevin Phelan travels London tracking down the street pianos and has played pretty much every single street piano in London over the past 6 years – he says only one or two managed to disappear before his arrival.
‘I am particularly fond of the Herne Hill piano because the condition of the tuning is much better than usual (…Thanks to Roy) and because of the community buzz here……” – Thanks for coming Kevin –
Here is the Film!!! – the culmination of 6 months work, we got to know some amazing people – Enjoy!
There is an extended (30min) version in the pipeline, please get in contact if you have any ideas on how this could get funded.
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Children passing by always stop to play. ” Sometimes if its locked there is a full on temper tantrum.” Elaine the florist says and so she pauses sorting out the flowers to remedy the situation and unlocks the piano. “Its wonderful to see kids arguing about whose turn it is to play the piano.” The little ones naturally wander right up to the piano to clamber onto the stool and play or pause to listen mesmerised, One day Elaine said there was a 6 year old playing the piano while another 6 year old responded by doing ballet up and down the walkway.
Marcus,8, talks about how he responds to the little ones coming up to the piano. Kit plays a very competent chopsticks – Mina teaches her brother and Ethan gives us a short song.
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.