Concord, VA - For years, one Concord man has restored pianos, but he's always wanted to build one of his own.
It's Mark Perry's dream and it's finally come true. The finished piece, an 8 foot concert grand, is nothing short of a work of art.
Maybe it's the long years he spent thinking of it.
"I've always loved playing the piano," Perry said. So I had this dream that someday I would want to build one and sort of rise to the top of a dying industry."
Or maybe it's the years he spent building it.
"This charts every string, ever dimension, every action part. My computer logged 574 hours on this one drawing.
Whatever the factor, Perry's concert grand is truly a piece of him.
"I wanted to build something that embodied everything I loved about a piano," Perry said.
You can see his passion in every detail.
"It's finished in a French polish which contains frankincense and myrrh and then all of the moldings are done in 24 karat gold." Perry explained. "Over here the woolly mammoth ivory tells the story of Noah's Ark."
The piano is even wired in with the latest technology so no one has to sit down and play it to enjoy the music.
"The piano puts out an Internet signal and you can pick it up like Wifi and then it loads all of the songs onto your smart phone," Perry said.
To build it, Perry needed a customer, one willing to pay for his dream. He found one by accident.
"She came to me with this Pleyel. She wanted to have a French polish piano," Perry said. "I liked it ok, but my heart wasn't in it. After a few months of talking about it I said look if you are going to spend this kind of money, I can't afford to build this piano I've been dreaming of. How about help me build this thing and it can be yours."
Seven years after he started, the ivories are ready to be tickled. Perry is loading it up for the drive to its new home in Baton Rouge - a concert grand made almost exclusively in the heart of Virginia.
"I sit down and play this in the dark. The complete total dark and silence with my eyes closed and I just enjoy the sounds. I takes me to places I wish music would take people," Perry said.
This piano would retail at over $330,000, but because his customer paid for his dream to be built, he crafted it for free. However, now that Perry has one under his belt he hopes to build four more.