Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Zen and the art of piano-burning

Famed Japanese jazz pianist Yosuke Yamashita has expressed his burning passion for music by setting his piano on fire.

At a sunset performance on at beach in Ishikawa Prefecture, western Japan, the 66-year-old Yamashita, wearing a firefighter's uniform, recently played an improvised jazz piece before about 500 spectators seated in a wide semicircle around him.

No sooner had he begun playing, the piano burst into performance for a full ten minutes before all the strings were burnt out or snapped and the piano went quiet.

"I did not think I was risking my life but I was almost suffocating from the smoke that was continuously getting into my eyes and nose.

“I had decided to keep on playing until the piano stopped making sounds, so though I did not mean it but it ended up having a life-or-death battle between the piano and myself," said Mr Yamashita.

After the performance, there were some criticisms in Japan that it was wasting a piano.

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