Words by Adriana Monk, creative director of Monk Design
It was Steinway’s 150th anniversary celebration and I was keen to learn more about its instruments – I never thought I would walk out of the company’s Detroit showroom owning a 1929 grand piano. When I sat down to play the satin ebony Model M there was an immediate emotional connection, a magical moment resonating with the rich, warm tone of the Steinway sound. Taking lessons on it was incredibly satisfying.
My piano was instrumental in the formation of an amateur jazz band with my fellow car designers and engineers. That was how we all weathered Detroit: music and friendship, harmony and laughter.
It has since followed me around the world and decided where I live, claiming its own space. It has travelled by air in a custom crate with time-sensitive impact indicators, as well as endangered species documents, and currently commands a view of the Mediterranean in a 19th century villa.
The soundboard is carved from Sitka spruce, the most resonant wood available, and the artisans who manually carve and taper its edges autograph the soundboard after installation. Aside from being a beautiful sculpture, the piano enhances my design sensibility: playing channels my energy, providing fresh perspectives. It is fascinating to think of all the stories it could tell. Hopefully, once we part company, it will live on for many more years, to be played with passion and loved for its beauty.