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Posted: 9:51 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013
HALF MOON BAY, Calif. —
Half Moon Bay artist Mauro Ffortisimo originally planned to play his piano for a month up on a bluff, but a complaint pushed the city to pull the plug. Instead, the artist and musician, in a dramatic flair, played it one last time and then set fire to it Sunday night. Ffortissimo, whose real name is Mauro Dinucci, kept the flames dancing on his baby grand piano Sunday as he played while it burned in an open field. The controversy began two weeks ago on a Half Moon Bay bluff. A YouTube clip attracted hundreds of people with Ffortissimo planning to keep playing his music every sunset for a month. "I was playing on the bluff for two weeks and eventually had to stop doing that," he said. But a complaint forced the city's hand and without a permit, Ffortissimo had to vacate the bluff. The notice sparked an idea to cremate the piano, setting it free. "The burning of the piano is challenging," he said. Ffortissimo's sister Flavia Dinnuci watched as hundreds gathered Sunday to say goodbye to the music in the most dramatic way, complete with a funeral directive. "It's very touching, so many people are enjoying this," Dinuci said. "I feel very proud." "The soul of this piano was important to the owners, so it was with great hesitancy that they allowed it to be burned," said Half Moon Bay resident Claire Sheehan. The fiery end brought people together in a way only the artist could have envisioned. Beth and Cory Silver drove all the way from from San Francisco. "It seems like a once in a lifetime kind of opportunity," said Beth Silver, San Francisco resident. "We've been following this all along." Ffortissimo will take the bigger piano pieces and incorporate them into a sculpture which are expected to show in New York and Rome.
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