Pianodrome: the Edinburgh amphitheatre made of old pianos

Using upcycled pianos, this world’s first playable amphitheatre will be situated in Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Article by Jamie Dunn | 20 Mar 2018
  • Pianodrome

Welcome to the Pianodrome, a whimsical upcycling and community arts project in Edinburgh that hopes to create the world’s first playable amphitheatre.

Currently under construction, the Pianodrome will be situated in Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and take the form of an interactive sculpture, acoustic concert venue, lecture theatre and musical instrument built entirely from upright disused pianos. It’s aiming to launch in August, and once complete, it will host a series of workshops, community projects and live arts events.

Edinburgh-based artist Tim Vincent-Smith and producer Matt Wright came up with the playful concept. “This is a radical reimagining of what the piano is and can be in today's throw away culture,” said Vincent-Smith. “We are taking fabulous old instruments that have been condemned to the rubbish tip and turning them into something new and astonishing.”

To bring this wonderfully kooky vision to fruition, Vincent-Smith and Wright need your help. They’ve started a crowdfunding campaign to help raise the additional £10,000 needed to help complete the Pianodrome. Those who donate can receive everything from having their name signed on one of the Pianodrome’s piano keys to tickets to the launch party, and even their own full-size piano delivered to any Edinburgh address. The fundraising campaign can be found at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/pianodrome until Saturday 14 April. 

"No piano is junk,” says Vincent-Smith. “No person is 'unmusical'. The Pianodrome is a musical instrument and performance place free for everyone. All you have to do is play – and I don't just mean the piano."

“This will spark our collective imagination,” he adds, “and release a cascade of creativity which will be highly entertaining and at the same time good for the environment."

You can find out more about the Pianodrome at Edinburgh Science Festival, which is running half a dozen events associated with the project. Included in the line-up is drop-in session What is a #Pianodrome? on 14 April, which is described as an action-packed afternoon exploring the potential uses of the Pianodrome's space (14 Apr, Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, 2-5pm). Another Pianodrome-centred Edinburgh Science Festival highlight looks to be #Pianodrome Resonator, a Pianodrome fundraiser concert featuring The Watch Thieves, Ilk, Bristol Branch, Omar Afiz and Sink (30 Mar, Fireside, 7pm, £10 adv/£12 otd). For more info, head to www.sciencefestival.co.uk

To support the Pianodrome campaign, head to: crowdfunder.co.uk/pianodrome