Who said you couldn’t place a grand piano on a giant rock?
Cause UK in partnership with our friends at Besbrode Pianos placed a concert grand piano at the iconic Brimham Rocks in Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to highlight the importance of nature and its profound impact on the arts.
Melvin Besbrode who runs the piano emporium Besbrode Pianos in Leeds volunteered the piano, with his pianist friend, Kevin James, performing to visitors at the beauty spot.
The idea to place the piano at the iconic rocks came from Clair Challenor-Chadwick, founder of Cause UK.
Clair said: “The whole of the UK is stressed out of its mind from the pandemic. Lockdown has hit hard, and many small businesses and creatives have not received grants or full furlough support or are facing a very uncertain future. As we work in the arts and across the green agenda, the piano idea was a way to highlight how much we need both right now – how we should value it, why we should safeguard it. We need beauty, new horizons and the space to breathe to regenerate – mentally and creatively – now more than ever.”
The media stunt was covered far and wide including the Times, The Telegraph, and the front page of the Yorkshire Post, as well as featuring on regional BBC Look North bulletins.
Agents of change, Cause UK aims to support organisations to enrich lives, campaign for good, provoke thought, inspire action and put heart and intelligence into the news agenda.
Clair said: “We come up with sometimes seemingly madcap and creative ways to curate meaningful media coverage. In this case, we wanted to highlight that UK nature is under threat, with species of greatest conservation concern showing a 60% decline since 1970. In the arts, lockdown has made concerts, theatre and live events economically impossible to run, with Andrew Lloyd Webber warning the arts are at a ‘point of no return’.”
Melvin Besbrode said: “Nature has inspired the greatest composers, poets and painters. Turning to nature is one of the most fundamental human impulses, whether it’s for hope and romance or finding solace in grief. If you think of songs that really endure, from I’ll Follow the Sun to What a Wonderful World to Chopin, Beethoven and Debussy, we have nature to thank.”
Clair added: “The arts and nature are vital sources for well-being, health and humanity. The great outdoors is free to all – the Natural Health Service. There isn’t a more crucial time to prioritise and invest in conservation and safeguard our struggling arts sector.”
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty up and down the country celebrate Landscapes for Life Week from 19 September. #MyNationalLandscapes aims to help people reconnect with nature by enjoying and being inspired by the UK’s AONBs.
Thanks go Danny Lawson at the Press Association and Gary Lawson Photography, who captured the stunning setting. A huge thank you to Melvin Besbrode and his team for their herculean efforts placing the piano safely on the rocks.
Gallery photo and drone credit, Gary Lawson.
The Cause UK and Besbrode Piano team.