Trader Spotlights

The Great Piano Mission

Fri 15 Sep

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How one piano travelling from Camden to the Himalayas has sparked a musical journey for the owner of Camden Piano Rescue, Desmond Gentle

One of the best things about working in Camden Market is the eclectic mix of people you meet and the extraordinary stories they have to share. Such a chance encounter led the owner of Camden Piano Rescue, Desmond Gentle on an adventure of a lifetime, bringing a piano to Lingshed, thought of as the last traditional Buddhist enclave in the world.

Desmond now visits the village on his birthday every year, tuning the piano for the children that live in this remote village. However, this isn’t the only piano-project he has got up to over the last couple of years. Check out this list of his past and future exploits below:

February 2015

Rescued and restored an original piano used by Jack White on the White Stripes Elephant recording. Item auctioned for £5,300 pounds for the benefit of charity BARKA.

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April 2016

Mended and recorded last remaining piano in abandoned town of Chernobyl, Ukraine on 30th anniversary of nuclear power station meltdown. April 26th 1986, travelling with a Geiger counter to check his radiation levels on entering and exiting contaminated sites.

July 2016

Built the first recycled plastic bottle greenhouse in the Himalayas, highlighting the issue of plastic ending up the ocean or in landfills and promoting sustainable recycling programmes.

November 2016

Gifted a piano to the ESCAMF school for street children in Mozambique. Providing children with clothes donated from North London, as well a piano on which to learn music.  

September 2017

Gifted a piano to the Headway East London Society for brain injury.

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And in the future….

December 2017

The deepest piano concert in the world, performing Chopin in a Romanian Salt Mine in order to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis.

June 2018

The highest piano concert in the world, performing Chopin at 5,500 metres in the Himalayas in aid of environmental charity Green The Mountains, an environmental charity. Donate money here!

November 2018

The Peace Piano: A tour of Europe with a restored piano on the back of a WW1 ambulance, performing to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.