The Inside Out Piano – Sarah Nicolls




The Inside Out Piano – Sarah Nicolls

The idea was great, but this is a clear example of why not all ideas should be a reality. Sarah Nicolls had an amazing idea back 2008 to take a piano and turn it inside out. She succeeded in creating her inside out piano, but the music she made from it was an abomination. There is a chance that you can create something good out of that piano, but Sarah Nicolls created a piece that I can only call a mistake. It was psychedelic in the worst way possible, I tried not to cringe throughout the entire performance as each note she pressed made my ears bleed. It truly was horrible. I hated it. The rhythm she made with certain objects added to the piano to act as the beat was completely out of time and the notes were off key as she played each one to create the screeching sound of metal. I give Sarah Nicolls credit for creating the inside out piano in the first place, it was a great idea and she succeeded in creating it, but the came from the piano is exactly why not all ideas are as great as they seem.

However, watching the performance did make me want to experiment with my music to create something that has never been done before, and I will be fully prepared if the result is not what I imagined. The creative process of making something unique out of your music is the hardest, but because of the inside out piano, I have come to realise that it can be fun, even when it doesn’t end with the best result. Being able to take something and turn it into something that is almost entirely new is exciting and is how music should be created. A similar example to the inside out piano would be Billie Eilish as she experiments with her music, and even though I am not the biggest fan, I respect her music and many people still enjoy her songs, being seventeen and hitting the charts with almost every release.

In addition, despite the fact that the inside out piano sounded awful, Sarah Nicolls has gone on to make a second version which is said to be improved. “This was a different scale: an old French Erard from the turn of the century, a lovely but very old and dying instrument which we have breathed new life into! […] the most majestic and monolithic piano I’ve ever seen.” Even though I did not enjoy the first version, I am all up for seeing is improve and become something that is listenable. Not everything is great the first time, therefore it will be a fun journey to see what becomes of the inside out piano over the years.

I absolutely believe that music is beginning to get less and less creative, and I think it may be because the artists are afraid that what they create won’t be good enough to succeed. This is why we need people like Sarah Nicolls to take that step and make something so unique and almost unthinkable without fear of the result. You can be nervous, but no matter how bad it sounds it is still good based on the creative process, and just like Sarah, you can take what you have created and find ways to improve and you will eventually get the result that you wanted.

In conclusion, I believe that the inside out piano is inspiring, certainly not the best, but inspiring. It reminded me about how music should be about the creative mind instead of trying to make whatever sounds good in order to be successful, obviously the sound plays a huge role in the song, but is always best when you go through that creative process.


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