Days are numbered for 'Sunset Piano'


Ever since artist Mauro Ffortissimo hauled a piano toward the edge of the cliff in Half Moon Bay nine days ago, crowds have flocked to the location.

It's part of his art project, called "Sunset Piano". Ffortissimo plays the same pieces everyday as the instrument slowly falls victim to the elements.

"So that was the concept behind it to see that everything is in flux, and you can't control things as much and to just go with it," said Ffortissimo.

Elida Oettel, the former piano's owner, has been overcome with emotion since this art project started. She grew up with the piano in her childhood home, but recently gave it away when it was going to cost $20,000 to repair.

"How beautiful is it to be here near the ocean where everything is always changing and that's how life is right?" siad Oettel.

The piano's been sitting out unprotected 24/7, but its days on the cliff are numbered. City officials say the art installation lacks the proper permits. Half Moon Bay residents say that's a shame. They say the piano has brought the community together.

"I played a little Chopin and then a little boy came up and then I played Chopsticks. You know Chopsticks and Chopin on the beach… where else can you say that but Half Moon Bay," said Half Moon Bay resident Cyndi Menzel.

The piano will be here until Thursday. That's the deadline given by the city of Half Moon Bay. Ffortissimo plans to haul it back to his property where he says he'll burn it. The final chapter of his art project.

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