Piano on the Beach

Kyle Brown, Senior Multimedia Editor at Take Magazine, saw this sunken piano on the beach and decided to find its story. 

While having dinner in Provincetown I noticed a piano sitting on the beach. I decided to learn its story.

I missed Will Harrington on the first try. Moments later, he called back. I was greeted with a raspy voice and testament that I was speaking with the piano’s street-performing owner. Will went on to mention we might get disconnected because he had just entered an elevator.

He is a first-year student at Boston’s North Bennet Street School of traditional trades and fine craftsmanship. He plies his trade during the summers in Provincetown in exchange for housing. When he isn’t fixing up houses, he is performing captivating music for vacationers on the Cape.

Will, age 18, has been performing on the street in Provincetown since he was 14 and playing music since he was 12. He plays Wurlitzer piano and guitar and also does piano tuning, around which he hopes to start a business.

Midway through last summer his piano was vandalized – the most significant damage was done to the piano hammers. Within two days he was gifted a new piano, and he wasn’t sure what to do with the old, defective instrument. What does one do with a broken piano? A friend of his had the idea of taking it out to the beach, where a photographer used the ocean as a backdrop for a photo shoot. And they left it there.

Will was working near the beach and would watch all day as beachgoers involved it in the memories they made. He said his name wasn’t on the piano until about two weeks ago when he added it on one of his many trips to P-town.

Austin Dale, a writer’s production assistant for the TV series Transparent who spent all of last summer in Provincetown, says, “I think Will is magnetic. Tourists gravitate to him, and he’s one of the locals that never fades back in the landscape of Provincetown. Instead, he’s a real talent who stands out in a little world of extraordinary artists.”

Reach out to Will for tuning or performing via LinkedIn or Facebook.

Photo at top by Kyle Brown
Kyle BrownPiano on the Beach