Set of Keys
As a photographer who also happens to be a pianist, I am doubly gratified when I'm out exploring and find a scene that brings together my two passions. This photo was taken early in my career, Thanksgiving Day in 2012, in fact. I was just discovering myself as an artist, and this was the first time I'd had the opportunity to shoot a piano.
The house itself had been a mineral springs resort, a hospital during the Civil War, and eventually (and allegedly) the neighborhood haunted house. Upon walking in, I was greeted with what must have been a grand sight in its day: a beautiful and still-intact stairway with the most ornate carved handrail.
The parlor on the left was a larger room with a fireplace and this old upright piano. Most any old piano left to neglect will still play to some extent, provided animals or insects haven't nested among the hammers and strings. As usual, I felt obliged to play, even if just to strike a chord. The moment’s inspiration? Carole King's "It's Too Late."
To hear it echo through the house was absolutely chilling. Something stirred, a long-dormant energy that almost sounded like a deep sigh. Instinctively, my breath began to parallel its wave-like rise and fall. Who knows all that had happened within those walls over the years, everything from tragedies, victories, births, and deaths to go along with perfectly plain, boring days.
But in that moment, the confluence of song, house, and history conspired to fling me, newly energized, along my newly chosen artistic path.