Classical musicians set pianos ablaze in fiery recital

A group of classically trained musicians decided to burn a few pianos just for the heck of it.

Philip Mackenzie, principal conductor of the Amadeus Orchestra, and pianist Malcolm Forbes-Peckham organized a socially distanced recital. Pandemic restrictions made it impossible for the musicians to perform together in a concert hall, so in July, they gathered a bunch of their colleagues and met out in a field near Gloucestershire for a jam session.

During the jam session, Mackenzie decided to make use of two old pianos by setting them ablaze.

“We decided it would be quite fun to set fire to a couple of pianos, simply for the fun of it,” Mackenzie told Newsflare

As footage shows, the musicians stuffed the two large wooden pianos with hay. They then lit the material on fire and watched the pianos burn from a distance. Some tried to play the flaming pianos for a few seconds, but by the end of the bonfire, the massive instruments look like dust.

The fiery act was inspired by minimalist composer La Monte Young’s series “Compositions 1960.” The collection of compositions requires musicians to add elements of performance art into each song.

“Build a fire in front of the audience,” the instructions of “Composition #2” say. “After the fire is burning, the builder(s) may sit and watch it for the duration of the composition.”

Another piece that Mackenzie references requires “feeding” the piano.

Now that is certainly one way to pay homage to your favorite composer while staying at least six feet apart!

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