Everyone has been inspired by at least one movie they have watched. Whether it’s Star Wars, Citizen Cane, Singin’ in the Rain, Gone with the Wind, or The Godfather, every movie has a story that impacts people in a different way.
For Kelvin Smith, that movie is the 1993 romantic drama, The Piano. He has always appreciated the piano, but when he watched the film for the first time in 2015, he was inspired to bring the movie to life in Tasmania. He decided to play music in the most beautiful outdoor settings he could find. His videos have gone viral and we can’t get enough of the gorgeous places he finds.
Reigniting His Love For Piano
Originally from Gippsland of Victoria, Australia, Smith grew up as one of 11 children. All of his siblings were instructed to learn how to play the piano when they turned 10 years old. They could quit any time they wanted, but they had to at least attempt learning how to play the musical instrument.
Smith was one of the siblings who decided to give up on the piano. Instead, he concentrated on his education. Studying for exams took precedence over his piano lessons. However, in 2015, he watched the 1993 film The Piano for the first time, and he was suddenly inspired. The movie reignited his passion and love for pianos. He started to relearn how to play the piano and it became a fun hobby during his free time.
In 2019, Smith decided he was going to take the instrument to the most beautiful places in Tasmania. In December, he was given a Strauss piano by a seller who approved of Smith’s intention to play the piano outdoors. Encouraging this, she decided to give him the piano free of charge, as long as he always chose beautiful places to play the instrument. Smith couldn’t pass up that opportunity.
Smith, who works full-time as a builder’s laborer, jeweler, and youth mentor (as well as a part-time preacher), didn’t know what to expect when he took his piano to his first performance venue on a beach at Kingston, south of Hobart. But he had nothing to worry about. People immediately loved his performance.
He said, “By the time I got it on to the beach and started playing, a little crowd gathered around and people got into it and I thought, ‘Okay, I can do this.’” The positive feedback encouraged Smith to keep playing.
He later connected with videographers Mark Thomson and Jeremy Button to film his performances. The videos were uploaded to Smith’s Facebook page, A Piano of Tasmania. The page has over 3,000 followers.
Smith has performed all across Tasmania, including the deck of a sailing ketch on the Huon River, gorgeous cafes, and the balcony of the historic Hadley’s Hotel in Hobart. However, his favorite venue has been Coningham Beach, where the waves almost reach his feet, and he once surprised two kayakers.
Everyone lucky enough to hear Smith’s performances acknowledges how uplifting and beautiful it is to hear his music. Listener Vicky Lutterell commented, “I think it’s fantastic. I think we need something like this, particularly at this time [during the COVID-19 pandemic] when everybody is probably a lot more miserable than they normally are.”
Smith is determined to keep playing the piano wherever he can find a place to perform. He prefers to keep it a secret about his next location, mostly because it’s fun to be mysterious but also to respect the social distancing rules. It’s fun to show up—unannounced—and start playing music for anyone who might be in the area.
Keep playing music and showing us the beautiful backdrop scenery. We’ll be listening and watching along.
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