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Connecting with the Past

Updated: Apr 12

Easter school holidays are coming to an end in Victoria and families will once again be settling into their routine of school days and weekends, the usual football (of various types) to support and of course the kids occupied once more by sport, dance lessons, martial arts, music lessons et al.


For us at Pianos Recycled though, the school holidays don’t really register too much other than it’s a little quieter either side of Easter, but this week the phone started to ring hot as per usual with enquiries for piano recycling and an increasing number contacting us unsolicited to discuss transforming their piano into something for their future.

The transformational side of the business, as a five-minute browse through our social media pages will show you, has become a big part of what we do and as someone involved in the face-to-face interactions with clients, one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling. Two and a half weeks ago we delivered a fully transformed ‘Liana/Lindahl’ back to her owner.  An amazingly exhaustive re-purposing that saw the client’s piano return as a hall table, a jewelry box, two side tables AND four trinket boxes.  It involved hours of discussion, drawings, more back and forth about maybe this, maybe that … and finally weeks of work with our collaborating artisans at ND Recycled Timber Furniture who produced a wonderful collection of beautifully executed pieces that thrilled the client and us alike.  There was, as you might guess, not much timber left over.

Good Friday saw us deliver another extensive project to another client, her piano ‘Sadie/Siewert’ coughing up another haul of great items with two ‘Florence’ fallboard-style boxes, a jewelry box, a watch-box, two trinket boxes, coasters and some handmade jewelry.  Oh yes … and a standing mirror!   As you can imagine, again, not a lot left over after this really gorgeous transformation.


This all comes to mind because yesterday I spent some time with a client as we worked through how and what she wanted to do with her piano.  ‘Kaylene’ (not her real name) had come in with some printouts of various pieces she liked, and browsed our rather extensive catalogue of pieces ranging from dining tables to trinket boxes (and everything in between), not yet sure of what it was she really wanted, even right up to the note-taking part of the exercise.


What really started to come through though, was the story behind the piano, when ‘Mum’ had bought it, great times remembered, and some sadness too as the realization arrived in recent years as the piano sat unused for many years, that no one in the younger generation wanted to play it.  All of this emotion flowed through our hour-plus design meeting until finally we (which is to say, Kaylene) started to settle on retaining the ‘identity’ of ‘Taylor/Thurmer’ in a couple of really engaging pieces.  It may be June before we get to see our meeting bear fruit but I think the wait will be well worthwhile.

It was after the meeting that Kaylene talked about the emotional gravitas of the whole process, about how important it was to make something that respected those priceless memories and to honour in particular her mother, whose instrument it was, with something she can look at and touch with fondness and most importantly, retain that Connection with the past.

Yes, we sell beautiful timber, and outstanding handmade pepper grinders, and vintage screws and piano parts and tables and boxes and all sorts of stuff … all of it available from our online store ... but the reactions from our clients this past couple of weeks as they saw their new, ‘old’ pieces for Their futures, and a lovely hour spent yesterday exploring the same kind of connection really does make these moments at Pianos Recycled feel extra special.   Can’t wait for June and the look on Kaylene’s face when her transformation arrives at her front door.

Unlike the poor people of Chechnya, who have just been told that effective June 1, no slow or fast music shall be played and is now illegal, Enjoy Your Week (and your music)!

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