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A Musician Moves, but Leaves His Piano Behind

Wed, 09/02/2020 - 12:12
Moving away, Michael Weiskopf is leaving his piano at LTV, in the capable hands of Michael Clarke.
Durell Godfrey

The evolution of LTV continues. East Hampton’s public access television service, which has been instrumental in keeping residents connected to their communities and government through the coronavirus pandemic, recently accepted the donation of a Yamaha baby grand piano.

On Friday, Michael Clark, LTV’s executive director, mused aloud about how the piano, which was manufactured in Japan in the 1970s and reconditioned in 1997, has catalyzed the formation of a plan for Studio 1, where it is situated. “I knew I wanted to do something with this room,” he said, “and I knew I wanted to make this room a studio. But bringing this in set the wheels turning.”

Studio 1 will be a recording studio. “But wouldn’t this be a nice place for an intimate, cabaret-type situation with 20, maybe 30 chairs?” he asked a visitor. “Of course, we would film it and show it on the channel. The beauty is we have the ability to show it live.” The space is small enough that sound reinforcement requirements for a live performance would be minimal. “This would be the perfect place to have a mini-recital.” 

“Even before we’re allowed to have people gathering together less than six feet apart, you could still do a recital, and we could stream it live,” Mr. Clark said. The piano, which is in excellent condition, “gives us a lot of options” and makes the facility more alluring to potential clients. “We’ve been really, really busy with people renting space for video shoots and photo shoots, because we’re probably one of the biggest buildings they can use” in the town.

The piano is on wheels and can be moved to Studio 3, LTV’s largest and most versatile space, which can seat 200 people with a capacity for 300 “when things get back to normal,” Mr. Clark said. “We’re going to try to put double doors” on Studio 1 for sound isolation.

The concept fits with the “new LTV” that has taken form since Mr. Clark’s arrival and that of Angela LaGreca, LTV’s creative director, both of whom joined last year. “This fits perfectly into the plan.”

Michael Weiskopf, a longtime East Hampton resident, is the piano’s donor. A musician, he fronts the Complete Unknowns, a band that has performed the music of Bob Dylan at venues on the South Fork and beyond. “I wanted the piano to have a home where it will be appreciated and used by talented people,” he told The Star. “I’m really happy that my friend Mike Clark is at LTV, and I know the piano will be taken care of like a member of the family.”

“This was kind of a special piano,” Mr. Clark recalled Mr. Weiskopf telling him, “and he wanted it to go to what he thought was a special place for the community. I said, ‘Sure!’ ”

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