By now many of you have been wondering how to properly landscape a freshly-painted baby grand piano.
You wonder because you are well aware that this Saturday, Aug. 13 – beginning at 9 a.m. – three carefully-painted and immaculately-landscaped baby grands will be on display at Maxwell’s House of Music at 1710 E. 10th Street in Jeffersonville.
It is a family affair – sort of. If you have ever been to Maxwell’s – or know any member of its very musically-tilted family – it all makes perfect entrepreneurial sense. Marvin Maxwell – Local Music Legend and the Godfather of this business – is also a Hoosier, and proud creator of the guitar-themed toilet seat, the tall-timbred “Jammin’ John.”
Move over Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Byron Biffy.
The Hidden-Hill-decorated pianos are now resting comfortably outside the newly-created Harmony Green Park near Maxwell’s – which is owned by Marvin’s son, Mark, a forceful etude in this shop and a promoter with a little accelerando all his own.
The new park will be dedicated with a series of very sophisticated, well-rehearsed musical events including jazzercise, corn hole games, disc golf, face-painting, ice sculpting and, oh yeah, a guitar-throwing contest. Call it an allegro to die for.
Wait until you see the way the nearby walls have been painted in full Maxwell leitmotif – and some really cool benches created by the Jeffersonville Public Art Commission will be dedicated. There’s no ostinato here. Sit with grazioso. Show some espressivo. Think grandioso.
Oh yeah, live music will be provided up to 3 p.m. on Saturday, all of it somewhere between forte and furioso. Groups such as Between the Lines and Indian Joe & Arrow will be taking bows. Twisted Sister and Lone Ranger & Tonto will be taking the day off.
So how do you landscape a piano? Our crack Hidden Hill piano-decorating crew of Cheryl Alvey and Dani Evans tackled this opus with glissando bordering on prestissimo.
Their first step was to dump roughly ten tons of dirt into the top of three pianos, an operation that would have provided immense satisfaction to those millions of kids who took piano lessons on Saturday afternoon when they would rather have been playing baseball because their mothers insisted on it.
The next hardest trick was to actually water a piano, but a contralto has gotta do what a contralto has gotta do. There were also those who walked by pretending not to notice, but you also gotta expect that kind of stuff at Maxwell’s.
Their piano-tuning project was a little tricky since no one has fully landscaped the inside of a piano since 1709 when Italian maestro Bartolomeo di Francesco Cristofori took his harpsichord expertise a little further by inventing the 88-key music box called the gravicembalo col piano e forte – which is Italian for Jerry Lee Lewis. Basically, his creation hasn’t been changed a whole lot since.
Well, that isn’t entirely true. With the exception of Maxwell’s you’re not going to find a lot of pianos painted yellow, orange and red. You’ll find no other in the world lusciously landscaped with euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost,’ sedum ‘Flap Jack’ or purple, green and black sweet potato vines.
Not to forget your music-loving echevaria, Mexican cuphea, and white, pink and red begonias, all of it finely accented with beer bottle caps in dim hope they will grow more bottled beer.
The plantings do render the pianos somewhat inoperable, but the Hidden Hill duo of Alvey & Evans has promised to sing Caribbean folk songs and The Best of the Grateful Dead upon request.