Public piano performances to delight commuters at KL's Pasar Seni MRT station

A commuter plays a tune on the piano at the Pasar Seni MRT in Kuala Lumpur. The 'Piano At The Station' initiative invites the masses to stop and enjoy a few minutes of live music at the train station. Photo: Think City

Have you ever wished for a stage where you're free to play whatever you wish on the piano?

Now's your chance – the "Piano At The Station" series, part of Think City's Arts On The Move initiative, welcomes piano players of all ages and skill levels to serenade the public at Pasar Seni MRT station.

Partnering with MRT Corp and supported by Kuala Lumpur City Hall, Piano At The Station aims to connect culture and transit at the heart of the city by placing a piano in a public space for anyone to play for free, similar to those you can find in London, Paris and Melbourne. You can find it in the corner of the concourse area (until the end of December), next to the escalators.

Accompanying the piano is a striking monochrome floor piece by contemporary artist/printmaker Mark Tan, called Moving Sounds.

“The piece is an interpretation of the hustle and bustle of Pasar Seni’s transit station, from the screeching noises of the brake pads as each train halts at the station and the beeping sounds each time the train doors open and close, to the repetitive loudspeaker announcements each time a train approaches and the sound of footsteps made by the passengers heading towards the exit,” says Tan.

“Now these sounds will be accompanied by the newest addition – melodies from the public piano played by musicians and enthusiastic passersby as they make a pit stop at Piano At The Station," he adds.

Tan explains that the abstract brush strokes mirror the melting pot of soundscapes that can be found at the station, while the circular shape represents the station as a convergence point.

“Installed together with the piano, the artwork strives to create a unique and participatory experience for all walks of life – uniting viewers and the piano player together and creating an enjoyable experience at the station,” he shares.

The piano is a contribution from music school Allegro Music & Arts and piano dealer Graceful Piano.

"As a music education institution, we believe in the key role of performing platforms for musicians of all ages to flourish, as it is a key part of their learning journey and development of musicianship," says Esther Law, Allegro Music & Arts director and principal.

A general view of the Piano At The Station corner at Pasar Seni MRT in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: Think CityA general view of the Piano At The Station corner at Pasar Seni MRT in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: Think City

“Piano At The Station is part of our community outreach to create an opportunity and invite the public to share their music with daily commuters, as music can bring communities closer and elevate experiences. We hope to be able to create opportunities for everyone to realise their full creative potential and inspire the next generation of budding musicians.”

Graceful Piano founder and director David Ng adds: “With the mission to marry artistry with the instrument, the company actively contributes towards the creative ecosystem by supporting platforms of all kinds, from festivals to concerts to productions, as well as recitals and many more creative initiatives throughout the city.”

“It’s a great delight to be able to collaborate with Allegro Music & Arts, together with local artist Mark Tan, to collectively contribute towards enabling Piano At The Station. It is close to our hearts that the public are able to fill the station with their music by taking a seat and taking centre stage for a few minutes, bringing joy and excitement to commuters," says Ng.

Even if you take a few minutes to stop and listen, the addition of Piano At The Station is designed to create a more engaging and culturally enriching experience for commuters.

"The arts have an innate ability to unite people and places, and we hope to extend this connection to more transit stations across Kuala Lumpur. The Arts On The Move initiative aligns with our mission to enhance the urban transit landscape and provide local artists with a platform to showcase their talents," says Hamdan Abdul Majeed, Think City managing director.

Piano At The Station, under the Arts on the Move programme, is supported by Yayasan Hasanah and Budget 2023 under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance to rejuvenate Downtown Kuala Lumpur through arts, culture and history.

So the next time you’re passing through Pasar Seni MRT, stop by the piano and play some tunes – even if it's Chopsticks. If you’re sharing photos or videos of yourself or others playing the piano, be sure to use #AOTMPiano and #ArtsOnTheMoveKL in your social media posts.

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