Here's a mystery: The piano is a box of gadgets -- strings, rods, pins, hinges, levers, shanks, screws and iron. With 7,500 parts, it is a factory of sound. So, we ask ourselves: How does a contraption sing? This is the great gift of a piano — the point at which hammers and steel give way to the animation of feeling.
At my next class, April 30, we will explore the piano and the pianists who make magic with it. We will hear the piano as birds, fountains, fireworks, a harp, a singer's voice, a three-part conversation and striving to sound like an entire orchestra.
Here is one example: the piano as flamenco guitar. Spanish pianist Luis Fernando Pérez performs Isaac Albeniz's thrilling "Leyenda" ("Legend").
4 p.m. April 30, Classic Pianos, 3003 SE Milwaukie & Powell Blvd., Portland OR, $20, payable at the door. To register, call 503-546-5622, or email Peggie Zackery at email@example.com
David Stabler is a pianist, writer, dad and cyclist. He's working on a novel based on his childhood years living in Africa and just finished riding across America with his brother this summer.