There’s nothing like live piano music to sooth the soul!

With everything going on, we want to find solace in anything we can, and what better way than with some free live music? For many Tokyo commuters last week, there was something special to be found in JR Otsuka Station: a colorful “street” piano.

During the period of November 1 to November 7, this piano waited for players and listeners in its designated spot in Otsuka Station in north-central Tokyo, eager to please passersby and lift everyone’s spirits. It was open for anyone to play, and lots of people took advantage, from very beginners…

To the more intermediate…

To the advanced!

But the real pleasure for many commuters was listening to talented pianists playing anime and vocaloid songs, like YouTube pop pianist Harami-chan, who was requested to play a medley of Demon Slayer theme songs, even though she’d never done one before.

A member of YouTube piano trio Yoshikane-san teamed up with fellow YouTube pianist and elementary school student Tappi-kun for two more Demon Slayer songs, “Yoru ni Kakeru” and “Gurenge”.

A high school student wowed the crowd when he played a jazz rendition of Hatsune Miku’s “Senbonzakura”:

And another YouTube pianist played a different vocaloid song by 40mp (sung by Hatsune Miku), “Karakuri Pierrot”.

Though these performances drew large crowds and were probably not very safe in light of the pandemic, they seemed to bring cheer not only to the commuters, who got to hear some of their favorite songs performed live, but also the pianists, who were all really happy to have had the chance to play the instrument.

“I just played ‘Melt’ [by Hatsune Miku] on the Otsuka Station Street Piano. It had a beautiful sound!”
“Today at Otsuka station there was a pianist and a violinist playing together. It was beautiful.”
“Otsuka Station has a piano right now! Lots of people are taking turns playing it, which gave the place a beautiful atmosphere. It was so relaxing!”
“I love street pianos and I watch videos of them online all the time, but I just saw my first one in person at Otsuka Station!”
“The Otsuka street piano was so much fun to play!! Thank you!”
“I’ve always wanted to play an original song on a beautiful piano…It felt so good!”

The piano was part of a project by the Toshima Ward Cultural Affairs Department called “Ao no Furumai ~Ikebukuro Street Piano~”, which was in part to commemorate Toshima Ward being selected as the best “Future City of Sustainable Development Goals”. Though it’s now gone from Otsuka Station, there are plans for it to be installed in Ikebukuro Station in April next year, so if you want to give your own piano talents a try or just want a chance to listen to some live piano music, definitely check it out!

Source: Twitter/大塚駅ピアノ
Top image © HiroshiIshimori
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