Usually pianists are one of the few musicians who don’t have the luxury of practicing and playing on the same piano wherever they go. Yes, there are the rare instances where pianos follow the artists who play them (courtesy of an entourage of piano movers and managers who make sure that the piano is where it should be and in tip-top shape). But there’s a woman in New York named Erin Durant who has determined that she will bring her own piano with her wherever she plays.
“I played a show with my electric keyboard after having played a bunch of shows where they had a piano,” Ms. Durant said, “and as a performer it felt sort of lonely. I didn’t have that piano to kind of kick back at me.”
She looked around and discovered a type of piano known as a Tom Thumb, popular, in the analog era, on cruise ships.
Ms. Durant’s model, built by the Kawai company around 1970, has 64 keys rather than the standard 88. The top of it is only about belly high. But it still weighs about as much as 10 marching-band tubas, or a half-dozen double basses.
Fortunately, it’s not a nine-foot grand, but still…