Classical pianist Hunter Noack, who grew up in Sun River, Oregon, and studied music in Los Angeles and London, loves the outdoors and loves music, so figured, Why not bring the two together in performance?

Well, it’s not easy getting a 9-foot Steinway grand piano into the Alvord Desert or to Fort Rock, but Noack pulled it off, hauling the piano to 25 remote and beautiful locations around Oregon for his performance series, In a Landscape. 

I joined Noack for a part of the tour and was moved not only by the beautiful music he and his guests played, but by the DIY aesthetic that brought the concerts to life.

From figuring out how to transport the piano, to scouting locations, to lining up guest artists, to driving hundreds of miles and setting up and taking down the stage (which doubled as the piano’s trailer), Noack did it all with a bunch of his friends. 

Noack sharing the stage with Pink Martini's Thomas Lauderdale

Noack sharing the stage with Pink Martini’s Thomas Lauderdale

Greg Bond/Oregon Art Beat/OPB

True, he has some very professional friends, including musicians from Pink Martini, but the tour was a casual celebration of putting on a show, and the audiences loved it. 

And who knows, maybe the next tour will feature, as Noack mused, a performance on a barge in the Columbia, or a helicopter ride to hear music played on a mountaintop.