In the summer months we like to don a pith helmet and safari suit and venture into the very darkest depths of our storage areas. Pushing through the dense undergrowth we often come across instruments which have become obscured - rather like lost temples deep in South East Asian jungle territory. Once these forgotten pianos are pulled out , blinking in the sunlight, we lovingly revive them in our workshops and gradually re introduce them to civilisation. This influx creates a surplus and with this in mind we feel compelled to offer generous reductions. So if a musical mood has taken you in it’s arms please drop by. Further price considerations will be entertained for anyone wearing an actual pith helmet, although we would ask that you leave your hunting rifle and crocodile trophies at home.
Our dear old van - equipped as it is with the robust engine so beloved of independent scrap metal merchants - has miraculously passed the dreaded MOT. This unexpected and frankly puzzling turn of events ( coupled with some fine dry and sunny spring days) has prompted a flurry of maintenance activity. Rust spots have been made to disappear and faded lettering has been revived. At nearly a quarter of a century old - obviously insanely elderly by modern standards- we feel justifiably proud of this faithful old servant. Sadly however it means that the National Motor Museum will have to wait another year for what will undoubtedly be one of it’s leading attractions.
We have recently been contacted by the Solicitors representing the well known music teacher Miss Veronica Goldsworthy Crevice who has recently celebrated her one hundred and eighth birthday at the care home where she is resident and still offering music instruction. We must offer our full and unconditional apologies to Mrs Crevice and regret any distress that might have been caused by a previous post. Furthermore we agree not to use Mrs Crevice in any future advertising material especially in conjunction with the trade name “Formaldehyde”
With those long and dark winter evenings now upon us surely it’s time to think about some basic “life improvement” that doesn’t involve adopting vegan principles or tying ones self in knots following tantric sex advice from Sting and Trudie ( don’t put your hip out old boy!). If you can separate yourself from your various devices - even for just half an hour a day - maybe it’s time to think about how we used to live. Yes go on do it - go on - there you go. Now that wasn’t too hard. If you need to take a break or go to a “safe space” then feel free. We can resume whenever you want. Don’t worry, this will only take very few minutes and then you will be free to get back to Facebook where you can spend the rest of the day posting favourably filtered photos of your spiffing, rollicking rollercoaster fun packed life for all your friends to see. But for now cast your mind back to a time when you still had original thoughts and dreamt of bikes and holidays and catapaults and fuzzy felt and wagon wheels and Barbie and Ken, and dreaded weekly pianos lessons with Mrs Crevice who had her hair tied back in a tight bun and inflicted music on her pupils with a mindbogglingly relentless ill humour. Remember her? Well good news boys and girls - that peculiar smell wasn’t moth balls - it was formaldehyde! And it can only keep an old harridan alive for so long. Yes yes yes she’s gone and in her place there now sit legions of youthful fun and friendly music teachers just waiting to reintroduce you to the long lost pleasures of simple uplifting, warming, fulfilling music learning for fun. Don’t pretend that at some point in your life you haven’t fantasized about breaking the monotony of a dull works party by unexpectedly, and to the great astonishment of your wage slave colleagues, striking up Great Balls of Fire on that neglected piano in the corner of the sterile hotel suite organised by your dullard managers for this colourless Christmas party. Of course you have. Now I know you are itching to get back to your I- phone x and of course feel naked and vulnerable without it. But just before you slip back into the digital present and feel compelled to take a selfie just to show your frightened and uncertain self that you still exist, take a moment and think of that great pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis astride that grand piano and ask yourself - could that be me? All blond quiff and gold sequined stage jacket. Yes - it could.
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A beautiful song by Sampha. We are no strangers to the amazing connection people feel with pianos; they really do become dear friends.
Thank you Sampha.
A real piano, with all it's hundreds of strings in tune with each other becomes like a living thing which feeds off the notes you play and hints at where your harmonies might take you next. This is why it is the most popular instrument of composers. Nobody loves a digital keyboard but it is not unknown for people to weep at losing an 'old friend' piano.
We hear that 'norm-core' is very 'in' right now, hip young things up and down the land are dressing 'normal' and I think the staff at Pianoman need crediting with inventing this hot new fashion trend. Can someone let Vogue know? Thanksomuch.
We're upping our photography game here at Pianoman . . . we've invested in a large white board so far. I know, you thought we'd magicked a pristine white room up for photographing in. Tricked you.
Here is our expert board wallah at work -
"What is this strange and wondrous delight?" I hear you exclaim.
Well my little ones, it is a rare and ingenious ships piano. Narrow in section with a folding keyboard, it is just the thing for your Thames barge or Norfolk Wherry or indeed an ambitious HMS Warrior back garden recreation. Please call for details and make sure you have a trusty boarding cutlass to hand.
We currently have in our showroom this intricately decorated grand by John Brinsmead and Sons.
John Brinsmead was a member of the National Academy of France, a chevalier of the Legion D'Honour and a Knight of the Portuguese Royal Order.
Brinsmead supplied pianos not only to Queen Victoria and King Edward VII but also the kings of Italy, Sweden, Bavaria and Portugal, The Shah of Persia and The Pope. A decorated grand was given to Queen Mary as a wedding present in 1893.
Brinsmead pianos were used exclusively by P&O liners due to their resistance to changing climate.
High quality decorated pianos like this are very scarce and would have been hugely expensive in their day. It would be nice to know in which stately pile this piano began it's long life.