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Audio: Birdfoot Musicians Taking Flight: "A piano forte absolutely fits in a car"

Bridfoot Musician

Prach Boondiskulchok on the infamous Birdfoot lounging couch

"This is a rather weird question to ask a pianist because, of course, we don't travel with our instruments. But actually, very recently, I have been playing on a period keyboard, which is called a forte piano. I have played that for awhile, but for the first time last year, I traveled and played a concert with an instrument. I traveled with the piano forte in the back of a car.

It's just small enough to fit in the back of an estate car. I was with Jenna and we drove 300 miles in England to the Lake District and gave a concert on it. We had to carry it into the room, and it was sort of amazing because for the first time in my life I got the thrill of: This is my instrument. I can actually take it, and I know what it's going to be like. 

Normally you arrive at a concert hall and you have no idea what the piano is going to be like. Sometimes it can be really heavy, sometimes really loud, sometimes soft, and sometimes it doesn't work at all. The most difficult thing about traveling with a piano, of course, is that when you arrive, like a stringed instrument, you have to tune it. The difference is that we have a minimum of 135 strings to tune. So I arrive, I have to let the piano forte sit, and then I have to tune it."

You can hear pianist Prach Boondiskulchok, as well as fellow Birdfoot musicians, play on Wednesday, May 25 at Cafe Istanbul in the New Orleans Healing Center. The Tango Labyrinth concert will feature music by Johann Sebastian Bach and Astor Piazzolla as well as reading excerpts from Jorge Luis Borges. The concert begins at 8:00 P.M. and will be followed by a Tango Milonga at 9:30 P.M. You can find ticket information as well as purchase tickets for the concert here. The 2016 Birdfoot Festival concerts will be running from May 23 - May 28. For a full schedule of the concerts, visit the Birdfoot Festival website.