Parramatta pianos

Sydney pianos

Prince Alfred Park

Location: Prince Alfred Park, 353d Church St, Parramatta

13 stories & pictures about “Prince Alfred Park”

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  1. I've enjoyed playing this particular piano. The majority of them were absolute Barry Crockers! Everything from the hammer, tuning and the enamel on the ivories. Disgraceful!

    This is up there as my favourite piano along with the one at the Opera House. Superb!

    It has been an absolute hobby of mine that when I was little I had to take it up but stopped because of an autocratic teacher I had which made me lose my motivation to play, let alone accost a piano.

    Now with this great initiative, I wasn't afraid to tinkle the ivories once more but I had been out of practice for over 15 years and more bum notes surfaced rather than good ones. This has made me appreciate the instrument once again but from a different perspective and I love it more than when I did the first time. Maybe it's because I don't have to take any lessons or anything, I just wanted to be more carefree and see if I still had what it takes - albeit rusty in playing it.

    I've played this particular one on a few occasions as I strongly felt that the piano was placed in the most appropriate location rather than at random. I thought "Why not? Give it a burl!" So I did!

    Well, I tried to diversify repertoires and genres from classical (except the technique and intricate virtuosity was lost but the basics were still there) - such as Beethoven's 5th Symphony (or in Saturday Night Fever terms - A Fifth Of Beethoven), William Tell Overture (or The Lone Ranger), In The Hall Of The Mountain King, Morning, a little bit of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and The Ride Of The Valkyries (or Kill The Wabbit in Looney Tunes terms).

    I then decided to incorporate singing as I LOVE to sing. Still in the classical vein, It's Now Or Never (as opposed to O Sole Mio, as an ode to Elvis) and the great aria Nessun Dorma.

    Then in popular mode, incorporate introductions to popular songs that use the piano for example Clocks (Coldplay), Your Song (Elton John, which was performed and sung in its entirety), and Bittersweet Symphony (The Verve, although it substituted the beautiful string intro and I can play the violin as well).

    The first one I decided to sing in its entirity is the Delta Goodrem song Born To Try, along with In This Life and believe me, it sounded fantastic!

    I snuck in a bit of country as well with only the intro to Behind Closed Doors but performing in full Stand By Your Man.

    Alicia Keys made a brief appearance in song by attempting No One. As well as Scissor Sisters with I Don't Feel Like Dancing (in full) especially with the funky piano intro and outro.

    Although there is a small piano bit, I had to sympathise with Britney Spears and attempt Baby One More Time in full with just the simple piano intro lead-in and soft soothing bridge, and the rest I had to improvise. Then, only the intro to Come On Over from Christina Aguilera just to experiment. While still on Christina, I managed to breeze through Beautiful from start to finish. It was indeed beautiful in every single way, har, har, har!

    Carole King is not only a great songwriter but a great pianist to boot so I gave her a burl with It's Too Late, I Feel The Earth Move (especially the middle part of the song) and another hit that she wrote performed by Aretha Franklin - Natural Woman.

    Michael Jackson also got a workout piano/singing wise courtesy of Ben, Earth Song, Stranger In Moscow, You Are Not Alone, The Way You Make Me Feel, and Thriller (while I had to juggle playing the piano and dancing - particularly the zombie part).

    In the lead up to Australia Day, I had to incorporate a few Aussie songs for good measure (singing them that is) like Botany Bay, G'day G'day, Duncan (both from Slim Dusty), Home Among The Gum Trees, I am You Are We Are Australian, Locomotion (well, Kylie's version anyway) as well as the two most profound that share the profound meaning of this country - I Still Call Australia Home from Peter Allen (I almost choked with emotion while I was singing it), and, of course, it would be remiss of me not to include a stirring rendition of our national anthem, in which was played and sung with great gusto much to everyone's delight and enjoyment.

    Of course, I'd end my repertoire with a country instrumental made famous by honky-tonk country pianist Floyd Cramer. If you listen to 2GB and in particularly Ray Hadley (I'm an addict and admit it, I love you Ray, muah!), you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. That instrumental in question is called Last Date and it's just wonderful.

    Speaking of wonderful, I had an absolute blast tinkling those ivories and must thank the festival and the PLAY ME I'M YOURS organisers and co-ordinators for this wonderful initiatives and I can't wait to see them up and running again for the next festival.

    Keep on tinkling those ivories!
  2. At 7a.m. Australia Day morning, after riding in a tethered balloon and watching the graceful ascension of all the liberated ones, we went searching for music and found it in our fingers. We have never felt so at home on the streets of Parramatta. Thank you. Pure loveliness!
  3. Air Orchestra in full swing
  4. We had so much fun. Got there just in time to see a street theatre performance from The Air Orchestra.
  5. Without street pianos, how would I ever have found out that I have a colleague who likes to sing Nick Cave songs?
    NB: although it wasn't staged that way on purpose, we are pleased that we managed to get the Sydney Festival banner in the background.

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