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Queens Chronicle

Pianist uses Queens as backdrop to music video

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Posted: Thursday, January 2, 2014 10:30 am

New York City is a bustling city full of sights, sounds and smells. Each neighborhood is different though the common threads connecting everyone to this cluster of islands are strong.

Pianist Gregg Kallor has captured the teeming city by connecting many neighborhoods to music in his latest music video, “Broken Sentences.”

The composition is one of nine movements in his solo piano suite entitled “A Single Noon.” It is fast and jumbled, reminiscent of the chaos one experiences on the subway during rush hour.

“‘Broken Sentences’ embodies the chaotic quality of the city,” Kallor said.

While the composition is an upbeat hybrid of jazz and classical piano, what has gotten the most attention is the music video.

“I have a good friend who is a brilliant cinematographer named Alan McIntyre Smith, who I collaborated with on the sixth movement of the same suite,” Kallor said. “He reminded me of the Hope Piano Project so we decided to use them in the video.”

The video features various cuts of Kallor playing the Hope Piano Project — a two-week exhibition that placed decorated pianos in green spaces throughout the city — including three spots in Queens.

Kallor and Smith visited almost all the pianos scattered throughout the city, including those in Gantry Plaza State Park and Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City and near the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

“The Unisphere was amazing because we had it on a clear day and there was virtually no one there,” Kallor said. “I had never been there before and it’s really fantastic. You just walk up to this huge thing. Filming this video really allowed me to explore areas of the city I normally wouldn’t have. I’ve gone past the Unisphere so many times on my way to the airport but to be so close to it was really special.”

Though he enjoyed playing at the Unisphere, the Gantries were at the top of his list.

“Gantry Plaza was among my favorite places to perform and we hit it right at dusk, almost turning everything to a silhouette, and it was very quiet,” he said.

As the video was filmed entirely in public spaces, Kallor did have a few interesting encounters with the public.

“Most people didn’t even bat an eye, but at Gantry Plaza there were these older ladies who couldn’t have cared less that I was there playing but when I finished, they applauded, which felt great.”

Up next, Kallor is hoping to film more music videos from the suite and utilize even more areas of the city.

‘Broken Sentences’music video

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