Category Archives: Peru

FPF World Tour, Part 2: Leaving Arequipa

Juan Carlos' piano

Juan Carlos’ piano.

As I mentioned in FPF World Tour, Part 1: Nature Is Nurture, I was preparing to depart from Arequipa for an extensive multi-country journey. I was excited, and I was almost ready. However, there was something I wanted to do before I left.

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Grand Piano Action Regulation: Glide Bolt Adjustments

glide_bolt_3One of the first important steps in grand piano action regulation is the adjustment of glide bolts. The glide bolts sit at four points distributed lengthwise along the center rail of the grand piano action. They have a tuning-pin-shaped protrusion towards their top, a central threaded portion that allows for up-down adjustment, and smooth rounded bottom. The bottom of the glide bolt both provides support for the center rail of the action and allows the piano to easily glide from left to right when the una cord pedal is depressed. Continue reading

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Filed under Arequipa, Glass Piano, Learning about Pianos, Peru, Piano Action, Piano Maintenance, Piano Repair

Nature is Nurture

City skyline


I’ve recently returned from some extensive travels over several weeks. This is why it’s been quiet on the blog for a while, but now we’re back online, and there are many new stories to share. New adventures, new friends, and of course, new pianos.

The next several posts will cover the entire journey, city by city. After departing from Arequipa in early June, I stopped in Lima, Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena, New York, Philadelphia and Hong Kong—then returned by retracing my path.

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Filed under Ambassador Program, Art/Science, Glass Piano, Learning about Pianos, Lima, Peru, Piano Action, Piano Maintenance, Piano Stories

The Currency is Joy

Hotel decorations

For the month of March I’ve been living in and exploring a hotel directly across the street from the Centro Cultural. Staying here at la Casa de Melgar has not only made it easier to prepare for the concert and keep up with my work at the CC, it’s turned out to be an adventure all of its own.

Some hotels here are absolutely magical. The rooms and hallways are dotted with antique artifacts, desks, grand wardrobes, and ornate ceramic tiles. Garden spaces feature sillar walls of deep blue and ochre, draped with a vibrant array of hanging flowers. Among all this, neglected but charming pianos await discovery, and new friends with rare stories come out of the woodwork. I will show you the magic of these places. I will tell you of a fascinating cafe owner who was manufacturing bombs but discovered a latent urge to instead manufacture hand-made pasta. I also mixed with a far-flung group of archaeologists who experience the quiet joy of handling the objects that the ground has kept for us to discover—and which add to the story of who we are.

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Centro Cultural


Sunset over the town

We’re at a halfway point in our journey in this foreign land. I arrived in Peru six months ago with some ambitious goals in mind, but without a completely concrete plan on how to accomplish them. For instance, I had no idea how or if the Ambassador program would evolve. We didn’t know if we could thrive as a business with members on different continents. I knew I wanted to perform a concert somewhere in town, but where? When? How? Continue reading

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Traveling Through Tacna, Part Three


There’s a lot happening right now surrounding the upcoming elections in the US. I think about the potential each candidate has to shape the world. I think about what kinds of effects each of them might facilitate at home and abroad. I also wonder what Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump were like as children. How does a child grow to affect the world in the ways that they can?

I’ve become connected with two non-profit organizations that are working to fight poverty and economic disparity in Peru: Intiwawa and HOOP. The thing I really love about them is the specific approach they take to tackle the problem: they focus on providing educational resources to children. Considering the focus on wealth inequality in this election cycle, it seems appropriate think about the future we are setting up for poor kids in this world.

In the midst of all this, I recently across the story of a political figure from long ago, a fascinating person I’d never learned about before: Simón Bolívar. There was a grand painting of him on the wall at the Regional Museum of History in Tacna, and beneath it I found a summary of his life. Here’s an excerpt:

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Filed under Ambassador Program, Music and Wellness, Peru, Piano Action, Piano Maintenance, Piano Repair, Piano Stories, Videos

Traveling Through Tacna, Part Two

super-dorado.jpgIn part one of my story about Tacna, I did some detective work to locate a woman named Ingrid. She introduced me to a very special piano in the Regional Museum of History, and she agreed to have me tune it. I encountered a few other things along the way.

The museum held a lot within its walls: a large library, dozens of historical paintings, a performance room, and the piano, just to name a few. There was also a collection of portraits all around the piano. For some reason, I couldn’t stop looking at the faces of the people in those frames.

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