The first time I came across a public piano was when I arrived at St Pancras, London, in 2012. It was the first time I went to London by train instead of plane, to visit the Olympic games. When I entered the shopping area, I was welcomed with piano tunes from a skilled fellow traveler. It couldn’t have been a better welcome to a city that was hosting the olympic games.
Now, years later, the public piano has become a common object in public spaces in The Netherlands as well. Whenever I’m travelling to Utrecht, people are playing the one in the train station. I think the public piano is one of the best social inventions of the zeroes. Whenever someone is playing, it attracts others.
It’s mostly amateurs who kill some spare time, but sometimes artists use it to give public performances. And every time I pass someone playing really well I wish I learned to play the piano when I was young.