Piano passion at Pearse Street

Photo by News Four

Perhaps the most iconic of Billy Joel’s songs is the stunning Piano Man.

It is set in a lonely, beer-filled, smoky New York bar. It plays to many people’s sense of isolation and of unimportance. It teaches us that music is a sort of raw feeling screaming inside of us. A passion that yearns to escape.

John Murphy, a piano tuner and repairer, came up with the idea of installing a piano in Pearse Street train station. Pianos have previously been placed in public buildings in Britain and America to great success and so Iarnród Éireann “enthusiastically got on board.”
Sara Edmonston, a Waterford Artist and NCAD graduate, set up the piano in Pearse Street’s busy train terminal. She styled it on the idea of sea creatures, which recur in her art. She gave it the coy caption “Music Can Take You Anywhere.”

The piano itself was bought second-hand and refurbished by Murphy in his East Wall piano workshop.
He stated that “If you can play at all you have the ability to brighten up someone’s day. Music has the power to take you anywhere you want to go.”
Mick O’Grady, Manager of Pearse Street Station, expressed how delighted he was to have the instrument in the station, encouraging station-users to use this “great amenity to give us a tune!”
There have been many great scenes in the station so far, such as four merry tourists giving their rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody while station-users waited to make their Sunday night journey home.

A solitary older gentleman performed an impressive classical piece by Mozart on the beautifully decorated piano. These passengers were just passing through. They may not have been professional musicians, like Mercury, or composers, like the great Mozart. However, their spirit captured a sense of whimsy and fun and the aspiration we all have buried deep within us that we can all play and all sing to our own tune, whether or not we have a piano nearby.

by Kevin Mac sharry