The holiday season isn’t just about gift giving, drinking hot cocoa and being so merry that your rosy, red cheeks might burst open and bleed pure Christmas cheer. For some, it also involves a lot of traveling and that can make any man or woman feel not so merry. That’s why we need more “magical pianos” to cheer up our weariest of travelers.
Amtrak set one up in the main terminal of Chicago’s Union Station for their customers to play along with, dance to or in some cases yell at as they tried to navigate the crowded hallways of the city’s busiest train station. They also captured some of the reactions on film so those of us who don’t have to travel somewhere for Christmas could also enjoy it.
The “magic piano,” designed by Rob Bliss Creative, operates like a player piano except that it can be played remotely from another location. So the player can interact with the people around the piano whether it’s catching them off guard and giving them a small scare, playing a round of Chopsticks with a little girl or creating a soundtrack for the people walking by and exhibiting certain behaviors and moods.
It sounds whimsical but the results aren’t always positive as evidenced by someone clearly engaged in a difficult cell phone conversation who eventually shouts at the piano to “Shut up!” and forgetting that pianos are inanimate objects. Just imagine how much more fun your commute would be if you had one of these playing you off to your plane as you’re racing to catch that flight before it takes off without you or lamenting you with a soothing song as you realize that the flight that was supposed to replace the one that was cancelled has also been cancelled.