Drawn to forgotten places, photographer Romain Thiery has been transforming abandoned spots into his own personal playgrounds. As a trained pianist, he placed his passion for the instrument at the center of his photography series, ” Requiem for Pianos”. In this project, Romain beautifully crafted melancholic images that powerfully trigger pensive thoughts among many of us who came across this series.
Could you tell us about yourself?
My name is Romain Thiery. I’m a 30 years old professional photographer specializing in abandoned heritage and a pianist. I am native of Perigord, a region rich in history and filled with derelict wonders. This is also where it all started in 2009 when I decided to carry on what my mother had started a few years before, listing and visiting those forgotten places. I start playing piano when I was 5 years old and studied it in a music school in France for 15 years. Piano is a big part of my life, I have a grand piano at home and I play it every day. I’m also passionate about photography, and I’m fortunate enough to be able to bring the two subjects that are close to my heart together.
As a pianist myself, my emotion takes over when I find an abandoned piano.
Could you tell me more about the project? Why abandoned pianos in abandoned places?
In 2014, I found a forgotten piano in a castle in the South West of France. Only a few things have survived the attacks of time and looter including the piano. It is impressive and, at the same time, incongruous, that it is still there. Not so long ago, this place was once gracious and luxurious, where a respected novelty used to reign. In my photographs, I want to show that this [the piano] arrogant beauty still relegates everything else to just the background. From that day I pretty much know my artistic life has changed.
As a pianist myself, my emotion takes over when I find an abandoned piano. So I searched for places with abandoned piano especially because it is the crossroad where my two emotions and passions collide. And, this is the aim of my art– to unite the two feelings and passions into one. It’s an exaltation of my artist’s life.
To create this series, “Requiem for Pianos”, I have traveled and explored several countries including France, Italy, Belgium, Ukraine, Germany, and Poland. Through my images, the musical notes of these abandoned pianos resonate again in these buildings in ruins, giving free rein to our imaginations.
Through my images, the musical notes of these abandoned pianos resonate again in these buildings in ruins, giving free rein to our imaginations.
You mentioned that this is an ongoing project, what’s next for this photo series?
Yes, this series is still in progress. I’m working with associations here in France to help me find new forgotten pianos throughout France, Poland, and Germany. Since the past few months, I’ve also started a new series. It is still focusing on pianos and heritages but with a different point of view. This project will soon be available online and I hope it will be more appreciated than before.