Pianist seamlessly plays rag as sections of his keyboard are removed one by one

8 June 2021, 08:55 | Updated: 8 June 2021, 10:00

Pianist seamlessly plays rag as sections of his keyboard are removed one by one
Pianist seamlessly plays rag as sections of his keyboard are removed one by one. Picture: Jordan Rudess / YouTube

By Rosie Pentreath

It’s a case of ‘how low can you go?’ in this increasingly restricted rag performance.

Watch and be transfixed as this pianist performs a seamlessly skilful rag, as sections of his piano are taken away.

Jordan Rudess thrashes through the piece on an electric keyboard with a nonchalant onlooker, a fella named ‘Maddi’. While Rudess plays, Maddi takes parts of his instrument away bit by bit, until he’s left jamming on just one key.

The pianist is surprisingly cool and collected as pieces of his keyboard are removed at an alarming rate.

He takes the virtuosic rag lower and lower on the keys, playing a kind of pianistic version of that childhood ‘islands’ game that involved a lot of jumping between soft furnishings.

Read more: Solo pianist plays every single orchestral line in painstakingly brilliant Chopin concerto

Calling it ‘The Detachable Rag’, Rudess writes, “Maddi and I decided to put the Pocket Piano through its paces and see how it (and I) perform under pressure!!” in the caption for the video on YouTube.

The pianist is performing on a portable instrument, clearly carrying the USP of being easy to pack down and carry around to gigs.

Read more: This oboe soloist’s reed split mid-solo… but he recovered like an absolute pro

It’s a masterclass in staying calm under pressure, and we feel those involved with these concert disasters could do worse than take a leaf out of Rudess’ book. Bravo.

In the mood for more piano silliness? Here’s a cat having a purrfect time inside his owner’s piano.