Aircraft of all sorts are a common sight at Munich Airport. However, a magic carpet hovering above the place is highly unusual. Last Wednesday travelers and visitors became witnesses to this unique event.
Celebrating piano concerts at spectacular places that have no affinity to music are the hallmark of songwriter and pianist Stefan Aaron. The artist demonstrated this when he held concerts on the peak of one of the highest mountains in the Alps, at a snow covered rock cliff in Norway and on China’s Great Wall. Last week the musician with a tendency for the exceptional chose Munich Airport as the stage for performing his fourth ‘orange piano tour’. Normally only typical aviation noise can be heard constantly at this location but certainly not any dulcet music tones.
Although even more spectacular than his concert was the arrival of the entertainer, witnessed by 100 invited and amazed guests. He sat, while playing the piano and floating smoothly above the airport facilities and taxi ways, on an aluminum rug weighing 270 kilograms, hanging – firmly attached to steel ropes – 40 meters below a cargo helicopter. “I feel like I am in the Orient, not the Occident,” remarked an impressed participant when the carpet carrying the musician and his piano slowly approached him.
And what about safety issues which also apply to flying carpets and their ‘passengers’? “My orange piano was screwed firmly to the rug, as was the chair I sat on. And I was secured by two seat belts,” the Munich resident explained. Was he afraid anything unusual might happen during the ride, such as hazardous rolling and snaking movements of his platform caused by a sudden turbulence, for instance? “Not at all. We had practiced this before and come up with some technical adjustments as a result and this definitely paid off here in Munich, making the ride extremely smooth,” he said when back on the ground.
Once above the landing area, the copter gently lowered the “load” right at a particular spot on the western apron of Munich Airport. Minutes after, encouraged by the guests, Stefan started his piano concert backed by a large choir and numerous dancers. Highlight of his program was a sort of anthem specially composed for this occasion, named “Munich Airport Soca Song”, whatever this title might mean.
The rest was dancing and singing with people joyfully transforming part of MUC’s apron into a glittering party zone for about half an hour.
Did the show have any influence on air traffic in MUC, possibly interrupting departures and arrivals for an hour or more? “Nothing of the kind,” speaker Ingo Anspach confirms. “The entire event,
including the helicopter-supported flight of the carpet, took place outside our two runways and thus didn’t intervene with traffic procedures in any way.”
The question remains as to which event is next on Stefan’s agenda. “Nothing in particular has been determined, he says. “We started negotiating with Vietnam for possibly performing a project there next year,” but talks seem to be in a preliminary phase. Is there any special wish or dream he wants to fulfill in the coming years? His answer to the media: “playing my orange piano on top of a skyscraper would be a great thing to do.”
It would be great, Aaron states in a telephone interview with CFG, if "interested individuals or enterprises could assist by sponsoring this thrilling project in one way or another."
His contact will be provided by Munich Airport's communication department.
Heiner Siegmund / Yvonne Boag