The world’s first street piano passed its primary tests, ready to rock the streets of Israel and possibly the world.
The outdoor grand piano is made out of concrete and completely street-safe: weather-resistant year-round, through rain, sun, or sandstorms, and even arsim-resistant, sturdy enough to withstand attempted vandalism. A prototype stationed in Jerusalem late last year has successfully survived all conditions, and the first official product was placed by Sapir College last weekend to withstand its first storm.
Inside its resistant shell, students and professionals have engineered complex systems to balance the sound, amplify the music, and monitor and control the piano’s status via a remote.
Dr. Dan Kaufman, head of the Entrepreneurship Program at Sapir College, is heading the start-up, called Cadenza. The project won a NIS 400,000 grant from the Israeli Innovation Authority (half the cost of one concrete piano) to encourage students to develop and execute their innovative ideas.
Since pianos are generally perceived as a traditional instrument belonging to a concert hall, Kaufman hopes it will draw curiosity from all walks of life. Whether someone has high-level training, knows two songs, or has never played before, with a little curiosity anyone can approach a piano and tap on the keys, inviting passersby of all varieties to come together and connect through music. A former keyboardist for John Lennon’s band, Ono Plastic, sat down and played Beatles music just the other day at the piano in Jerusalem.
After this initial success, more pianos will be stationed throughout Israel and a number of parties around the world are also expressing interest. The street piano could be Israel’s next new export industry.
As Billy Joel once said, “No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music,” and Cadenza’s mission is to “ignite this magic wherever people encounter people.” To learn more, check out their website at https://www.cadenza-piano.com/.