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Street pianos to bring music and colour to Swansea’s streets

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Decorated street pianos will soon be popping up in locations across Swansea City Centre as part of a drive to bring music to all, while marking Swansea hosting an international jazz conference.

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) in partnership with Jazz Heritage Wales, will host the fourth annual Documenting Jazz Conference at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea, from the 9th to 12th November 2022 – and in preparation, five pianos will be scattered around the city.

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Staff and students from the University’s Swansea College of Art have initiated the Street Pianos project. Subject areas including, Art and Design Foundation, Surface Pattern and Textiles, Illustration and Fine Art have taken on the challenge to each design a street piano that will be situated in a unique city centre location.

The five sites are: Elysium, HQ Urban Kitchen, Dynevor Centre for Art and Design, Swansea Indoor Market, and the Dylan Thomas Centre.

Dr Dave Bird, Lecturer in Creative Music Technology said: “The pianos used in the project were kindly donated by Coach House Pianos.

“Before the design process started, soon after the pianos were delivered to the Swansea College of Art campus, staff and students started to play the instruments and music could be heard throughout our buildings.

“Not everyone has access to musical instruments, especially an expensive instrument such as a piano, and we strongly believe that music should be accessible to all.

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“I hope this project provides a unique opportunity to play, explore and improvise in some way.”

Professor Ian Walsh, Swansea Provost of UWTSD said: “As a university, with buildings in the heart of Swansea city centre, we’re always looking for ways to engage local people with our staff and student initiatives.

“The conference itself offers an exciting opportunity to learn about the theme of diversity within jazz.

“In conjunction with this, the street pianos project has seen a number of pianos transformed by our brilliant staff and students into unique works of art. 

“We’d like to invite the public to engage with the street pianos and hope that musical experiences and performances will occur in each of the five locations.” 

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Documenting Jazz 2022 runs across four days, with keynote speeches delivered by Dr Joan Cartwright and Francesco Martinelli. 

(Lead image: UWTSD)

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