Sunset Piano

Sat. June 06, 4:00pm
Tickets: FREE

Presented by Sunset Piano

Trailer about Sunset Piano:


Sunset Piano is a musical social experiment, taking pianos out of the parlor room and setting them in natural and urban environments. We host brilliant musicians in unlikely settings, and invite the public to play a piano under the sky. From the San Mateo coastline to the streets of San Francisco and beyond, Sunset Piano champions music and culture in a world increasingly seduced by the shiny promise of a sketchy digital future. This summer, we will partner with the San Francisco Botanical Society to bring twelve pianos to the Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park. This event, featuring pianos for the public as well as wonderful performers, will take place from July 9 - 21, 2015.

Instigators Mauro ffortissimo and Dean Mermell are grateful for the opportunity to bring two unusual instruments to the SFIAF. The first is a liberated grand piano, an instrument freed of its piano-ness which has been transformed into an entirely new instrument. The soundboard and strings are presented without the encumbrance of the piano action and keys, and these are played directly in a variety of techniques by the musician. It is capable of producing other worldly moans and crashes, the sounds of whales singing and the earth crying. At SFIAF we will feature our new liberated seven foot grand piano.

The second instrument is a prepared upright piano, created in the spirit and techniques pioneered by musicians like John Cage. By applying materials and objects to the strings and hammers at the striking point, a piano becomes a percussive instrument, a creator of intriguing textures as well as melody. Dean and Mauro will play both set and improvised compositions they have worked out specifically for this unconventional instrumentation. A smaller liberated upright will also be available for anyone to try.


Mauro Fortissimo is a painter, sculptor, musician and poet, who brought the first Sunset Piano to the bluffs near his home in Half Moon Bay on a foggy night in February of 2013.

Dean Mermell is a filmmaker, musician, and writer. He is project director Sunset Piano, and runs a small post-production studio in San Francisco called Storyfarm.