A Vancouver videographer has shined a light on the beauty of classical music by taking a concert pianist on a bicycle adventure through the city to find pianos to play, and filming everything that happened along the way.
Timothy McLeod — a.k.a. Skinny Tim to friends — told Vancouver Is Awesome the idea for the video came about spontaneously after he met Bobby Mitchell, a concert pianist from Germany, through a mutual friend.
The objective for the short film was simple — hop on bikes and spend one day cruising around Vancouver trying to find as many pianos as possible for Mitchell to play.
Shot in February 2019, the duo cycled through downtown Vancouver finding pianos in public foyers, a church, high-rise building lobbies and even an art gallery. Turns out, not all pianos in the city are allowed to be played and they had a few interesting interactions on their journey — including run-ins with security.
The 34-year-old said he wanted to put together an exciting video about a topic that the public might not generally find very exciting.
“Classical music is obviously some of the most exceptional and exciting music that exists, we use it for the soundtracks for all of our biggest and most wildest movies, but as a topic or as an experience it’s not something you put next extreme snowboarding or extreme sports,” McLeod explained.
“So I wanted to have a piano adventure.”
When asked why people should listen to classical music, Mitchell explains in the video that the genre is “an active listening experience.”
“It has something to say to us nowadays,” he said. “It’s not background music.
“You focus and you learn and it engages your soul. That’s my feeling about it.”
McLeod said the experience of connecting with Mitchell, going on the adventure and editing the video together had totally changed his perspective of classical music and piano.
“I was just astounded by what an amazing instrument it is and what an effect it can have,” he said. "There’s something about the piano that is just timeless. It’s my favourite instrument now.
“Watching someone play music written by somebody 500 years ago is pretty special.”
To top it all off, Mitchell agreed to play a private concert at McLeod’s house to finish the video.
“If you get a chance, anybody out there, definitely have a classical piano concert in your house if you’re able to, it’s a really cool experience,” McLeod said.
You can follow Skinny Tim on his YouTube channel to stay up to date on his latest video adventures.
Watch the full video below: