The Pianodrome is a 100-seater amphitheatre made from 50+ upcycled, upright pianos. You can play it and sit in it, you are the music. Resident at the Old Royal High School in Edinburgh, it is a unique event.
You are invited to resonate at a free lunchtime concert, or drop in for afternoon sessions, workshops, and evening shows, and there is a full Edinburgh Fringe Festival programme of performances. You can bring your own instrument and jam on Sundays. It is free and open to beginners.
There are free lunchtime concerts in July and September, Wednesday to Sunday, 1-2 pm, and a workshop from composer Deborah Shaw on her new piece related to the experience of singing during the pandemic. Check website for details.
The Old Royal High School has lain derelict for many years until recently, when Hidden Door Arts opened it for their early summer festival. Their concept has been to reinvigorate unused spaces, whether in Leith Theatre (2019), Granton Gasworks (2021), or this venue on Edinburgh’s Calton Hill (2022). Like the others, the Old Royal High has a history as the venue for a long-standing vigil by Scottish Independence supporters.
I have been in the Pianodrome twice, and both times was somehow calmed and invigorated by the visit. I got the full surround-sound experience and left feeling centred. Just looking at the various parts of this many-tiered circle of piano parts is fascinating, identifying the soundboards, and wheels, the gold-embossed maker’s symbols and foot pedals. You’ll love it!