Play Me, I’m Yours in NYC

7 07 2010

Play Me, I’m Yours is an art installation from British artist Luke Jerram. It’s a project he has been touring around the world since 2008. This Monday concluded the 2 week New York debut, which was the largest version yet with 60 pianos being rolled out all over the city. Subsidized by Sing for Hope, the pianos were refurbished and placed in various parks, plazas and on street corners throughout the 5 boroughs.

I love this idea and wished that I had stayed in NYC just a bit longer to see it first hand. It’s not just a great way to bring music to the streets of the city but it also brings the people together as they enjoy, share and participate in the music.  Keep in mind, these pianos are intended for the public, not just street musicians or seasoned professionals. The concept is that anyone is welcome to sit down and play, regardless of their ability. It’s an open invitation to share music with the people around you, whether it’s “Beethoven’s 5th” or just “Chop Sticks”.


In response to the NYC roll-out, Jerram has said, “I’m amazed at how well my artwork has been so well received. It seems like half of NYers know how to play piano!? I’ve always had the feeling that Play Me, I’m Yours was meant to be presented here. There’s so much talent here and people willing to express themselves. I’m so grateful to Sing For Hope in making this dream come true.” See more quotes

The response has been amazing, running the gamut of possibilities. Up and coming professionals have used it as a way to showcase their music in the public domain, something that usually requires a city permit, and the occasional “big name” has sat in unexpectedly to share their gift.  Street musicians have found it to be a great way to setup shop in new locales while complete novices have tried their hands at something they never even considered due to lack of access to a real piano. It’s a fantastic idea that should not just be perpetuated in cities large and small around the world but should absolutely be brought back year after year or perhaps even be considered for permanent installation during the summer months. At a time when the arts and, more specifically, music programs are being slashed all around us, it’s a brilliant way to keep music alive amongst the populous.

Hopefully you got to see some of this in action around NYC. If not, there are numerous videos that share the experience quite well. Below are a few but be sure to visit the artist’s website to see others, as well as some really cool photos and learn a lot more about this incredible project.

Visit StreetPianos.com to learn more. Click HERE to see the locations where the each piano was placed in NYC. Here is the LINK to learn about the origins of the project and how it is received by the public. Also, to read more about the piece, check out this New York Times article.

References:

More info on Play Me, I’m Your

More info on Luke Jerram

More info on Sing For Hope

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