Chicago's Magic Piano
December 14, 2013 9:04 AM   Subscribe

A little bit of Christmas joy in Chicago's Union Station, courtesy of Amtrak.
posted by pjern (23 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is very, very cool, but does it like say Magic Piano on it? Everyone in this video seems to know what the deal is.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:17 AM on December 14, 2013


That was really great.

I switched back and forth on how this was implemented. By the end I'm pretty sure I knew how it was done, but it seems rude to reduce other people's pleasure by talking about it before they see it. Merry Christmas Everyone.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:18 AM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't think they did know what the deal is. It says "HELLO" on it, and is very responsive, so they figured it out. And I'm sure that there were lots of people who were just confused that they didn't include in the clip.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:20 AM on December 14, 2013


This is extremely cool, and I also have a pretty good idea of how this was implemented. I will save it though, to not spoil the fun.

I was impressed with the harmonica guy and the trumpet player, they both really were amazing.
posted by Benway at 9:24 AM on December 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Trumpet guy was awesome.
posted by kaibutsu at 9:27 AM on December 14, 2013


HOLY COW I LOVE IT SO MUCH.
posted by Glinn at 9:32 AM on December 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Awww, that was really lovely! I too loved the trumpet and harmonica players.
posted by yasaman at 10:01 AM on December 14, 2013


SPOILER ALARM: they murdered a pianist in there and her ghost haunts the keys or something? The station masters must slake her thirst nightly by pouring the blood of a keytar player into its maw?
posted by forgetful snow at 10:04 AM on December 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


This is very, very cool, but does it like say Magic Piano on it? Everyone in this video seems to know what the deal is.

It's my understanding that the people who either played the piano or played instruments with the piano were in on the joke.

What a delightful little distraction from the stress of traveling!
posted by MissySedai at 10:05 AM on December 14, 2013


The station masters must slake her thirst nightly by pouring the blood of a keytar player into its maw?

No, Amtrak will do that around Easter.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:07 AM on December 14, 2013


I read a supposed explanation for how it was done in the YT comments. I was a bit surprised at myself that I actually wished it had been more complex. (Technology-wise.)

Aw, and I didn't think the musicians were in on the joke, but I thought the other people (angry guy, etc.) were.

So basically it's all staged and the piano is playing simply because ...

I don't care - if this is still in Union Station I would take the Amtrak from Detroit just for a day to see it.
posted by NorthernLite at 10:23 AM on December 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm hoping it's still there when I get in from Toledo on the 27th. Such fun!
posted by MissySedai at 10:26 AM on December 14, 2013


Wait, the musicians were in on it? That kills about 90% of the awesome for me. (Though I really loved it initially, so 10% of that is still pretty cool.)

Maybe I'm just spoiled. Boston hosted Play Me, I’m Yours this fall, and I live near the New England Conservatory and Berklee Music College.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:18 AM on December 14, 2013


Yes, I'm also bummed that the people were staged. I guess real people are too boring. Maybe they should have put up a sign that said 'react to this self-playing piano' or something.

As is, why bother putting it in a public place? It's all fake so who cares if it is in an Amtrak station or in your garage? They could have even just have made an animation. Fake is fake.
posted by eye of newt at 12:12 PM on December 14, 2013


As is, why bother putting it in a public place? It's all fake so who cares if it is in an Amtrak station or in your garage? They could have even just have made an animation. Fake is fake.

You must be great fun at the theater.
posted by MissySedai at 12:18 PM on December 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Not to ruin Christmas for anybody, but it seems like the people reacting to the piano were tipped off by, er, a casting call...
posted by bicyclefish at 12:18 PM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's a remote-control piano. My daughter takes lessons at the Boston Yamaha Music School, and a couple of times, they've used this to have a man in California help her with a composition. (Note that it's a Yamaha piano in the train station.)
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:19 PM on December 14, 2013


You must be great fun at the theater.--MissySedai

I love theater. I'm not sure how I feel about theater in an Amtrak station.
posted by eye of newt at 12:23 PM on December 14, 2013


I would love theater in an Amtrak station.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:53 PM on December 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


I normally commute into Union Station several times a week, but the weather this week has kept my in full Work From Home mode. By the time I get back in there again, this will probably be gone. My loss. It looks pretty neat.
posted by hwestiii at 12:55 PM on December 14, 2013


I don't care if it's staged. If I was there I'd think it was the coolest.
posted by Glinn at 4:20 PM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I loved when Mr. Angrycellphone got the sad trombone piano.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:35 PM on December 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've done theater in a Metra Station, Twice!
posted by MrBobaFett at 12:01 AM on December 15, 2013


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