Two new posts today. Don’t forget to scroll down.

So today I was walking along on the upper floor of the SUB, about to head downstairs to the pottery studio, when I heard this alluring jazzy music coming from the ballroom. I thought it might be a recording. So I headed over, thinking that I might catch the dance club practicing or something equally exciting. The ballroom was deserted – but the music kept coming. It was emanating from my right. I turned around to peek in the window of the servery door. There I saw a girl in a knitted toque rocking out on a piano. She was producing the most wonderful music, totally in her own world – jammed up against the wall among the sinks, fridges, and portable bars, on the clammy tile floor.

I stood there and listened to her for a while – she didn’t notice – and then I went on my way. This reminded me of a cool project that GSS councilor Roderigo Nunes has started. It’s about establishing music-friendly jam spaces on campus, in environments that aren’t formal, or linked to alcohol. They’re trying to get pianos tuned, refurbished, and placed in public areas. It’s based on the idea that music is good. I’m pretty sure we can agree on that. Since Roderigo is in social sciences, there’s lots more big words in the official description, including a reference to Henri Lefebvre.
Check out the Jam Spaces project, being organized on facebook, (the natural home for all activism, apparently) HERE.

There used to be a piano next to the SUB art gallery that students used regularly. Not sure where it went, but it not there now. It’s pretty bizarre that the only usable piano in the SUB would hidden away in an upstairs kitchen, of all places. It was wonderful to hear that music today though; it would be wonderful to come across spontaneous music around campus more often. It’s also pretty neat to see a grassroots type of group come together to forward a great topical issue like music spaces – one that wouldn’t really ever come up from traditional student government circles.


6 Comments so far

  1. Blake on November 9, 2007 7:41 am

    I hated that piano that used to be on the main floor of the SUB and I suspect that many others did as well. It was incredibly annoying to be sitting in the conversation pit and listening to students pounding away at the thing. Even when the piano was played well, it was still way out of tune. But I like Rodrigo’s idea of creating music friendly jam spaces on campus, and I actually talked to him briefly about it last night. Let’s make UBC more musical!

  2. Anonymous on November 9, 2007 4:47 pm

    I heard that girl playing the piano too as I brought an 8-foot table up the Servery Elevator onto the 2nd floor (with some help). She was good. Jam spaces is a good idea, but I agree with Blake that those pianos will have to be tuned.


  3. Blake on November 10, 2007 1:00 am

    Apparently more than one person knows about this hidden piano. I just walked by and there was a guy playing some nice melodic tunes.

  4. Angeli on November 19, 2007 2:43 am

    i heard her too!!! i wanted to stay and listen but figured she wouldn’t care for the intrusion.

    i love this idea of jam spaces :) where do we go to make this happen?

  5. maayan kreitzman on November 23, 2007 5:11 pm

    Hi everyone! the fist “jam space” event is happening today at 12:30 in the airport lounge. Be there! (or be at the Terry lecture).

  6. Rodrigo on November 29, 2007 8:09 am

    The second JAM space will be this upcoming Friday…(30th) I do have some updates on the piano at the SUB. It was taken away because it was vandalized: people poured glue on its strings, probably after a drunken bout at the Pit or the Gallery. I remember how the piano began to fall apart and become so out of tune that it hurt to hear people play it. I remember once being frustrated that a music student was trying to play a Liszt etude that sounded like crap just because of the screechy abrasive and painful tuning situation and the missing strings…
    From talking about bringing back a TUNED piano to the conversation pit with the AMS exec, I got news from the staff on the whereabouts of the old upright. It sits somewhere in the building, and we would actually have to spend money on buying a new upright… I have some ideas on how to keep it free from vandalism, like closing the string box and locking the keyboard after 6 o’ clock, and giving the safewalk people the key; if someone wants to play it, they’ll exchange the key for their student card with the safewalk staff. There used to be an actual baby grand piano at the SUB, and someone tried to move into the Arts Gallery, dropped it on the ground, and it broke in half (or so I was told).
    btw- I am probably running for BoG to keep a critical eye on the monsters and seek to leash them.

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