New From Old
Piano Bird’

When the old school piano was replaced with a lovely new one we were reluctant to discard it, even though it had broken parts. The challenge was set to see what could be created from it – to make something new from something old.

The first piece has now been created and installed in the stairwell of the music department. The old piano keys and hammers have been reformed into a bird in flight, soaring up into the open space of the double height ceiling of the stairwell. Musical notes flow behind it, winding around the corridor toward the outer door as if the bird has flown in from the outside leaving a melodious trail in it’s wake.

Mrs Chapman, Creative Technician and creator of the piece, explains the meaning behind the ‘piano bird’…….
“My inspiration for the bird was a verse from the book of Isaiah, which can be found in the Old Testament of the Bible – Those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; They will soar on wings like eagles.’ Eagles mainly soar instead of flapping their wings. They hold their wings outward and rely on rising air currents to gain altitude, saving them considerable energy. Storms provide excellent wind thermals; hence an eagle will deliberately seek out a storm, rather than avoid it. It knows that by enduring the temporary atmospheric difficulties, it will be projected to clear, peaceful skies above. The bible verse is about choosing to wait on God and rely on Him as our source of strength, just as the eagle relies on the wind currents, particularly when life is difficult. Relying on God’s strength to help us, rather than relying on our own, to ride out the storms of life is the key message of the ‘piano bird’. For students who don’t have a Christian faith the ‘piano bird’ is a visual reminder to ask for help and support from those people that they trust, especially when they are struggling or feel like life is overwhelming.”

“Those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength;
They will soar on wings like eagles”

Mr Judson, Subject Leader for Performing Arts and Music, immediately knew which piece of music we should use to flow behind the ‘piano bird’. It’s an old gospel hymn called ‘His Eye is on the Sparrow” – originally written by Lyricist Civilla D. Martin and composer Charles H. Gabriel in 1905, and then re -recorded in the 1990’s by Lauryn Hill and Tanya Blount for the movie Sister Act 2. Many sing this tune and realize the overall feeling of hope that the chord progressions and lyrics are bringing, but they miss some of the power in the lyrics. The song is meant to give the listener confidence in the fact that God is watching over them and protecting them from the seemingly endless troubles that we all face in everyday life.

His Eye Is On The Sparrow

Why should I feel discouraged,
Why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely,
And long for heaven, heaven and home,
When, when Jesus is my portion,
My constant Friend is He;
Oh, oh-oh, his eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watched, watched it over me.

I sing because I’m happy (happy)I sing because I’m free (free free free)For His eye, his eye is on the sparrow,And I know, I know He watches over me.