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

YouTube Search Results





Pope to Beatles: Let It Be

14 04 2010

After  almost 50 years, the Vatican has reversed it’s opinion on the greatest rock band that’s ever lived. It all stemmed from a comment John Lennon made back in 1966. Lennon was quoted as saying, “The Beatles are more popular than Jesus”… which was and perhaps still is completely true. I’m sorry but, it’s hard to argue otherwise. Honestly, how many college students have posters of Jesus on their walls? That aside, the Vatican recently released an official statement forgiving the Fab Four for all their sins. This excerpt basically calls the whole ordeal trivial and even shows great reverence for lads from Liverpool.

As stated in the Vatican newspaper,  L’Osservatore:

“It’s true, they took drugs; swept up by their success, they lived dissolute and uninhibited lives… They even said they were more famous than Jesus. But, listening to their songs, all of this seems distant and meaningless… Their beautiful melodies, which changed forever pop music and still give us emotions, live on like precious jewels.”

Apparently, Ringo was not too impressed with the news. He replied by saying, “Didn’t the Vatican say we were satanic or possibly satanic — and they’ve still forgiven us?!?! I think the Vatican (has) got more to talk about than the Beatles.” Interesting subtext there and, really a very good point. With all scandals that have been going down with the Catholic Church why the sudden urge to patch things up The Beatles? Weird.

Here is John’s discussing his 1966 out-of-context comparison to Jesus…

I leave you with one final piece from this story. The Vatican also said The Beatles are “the longest-lasting, most consistent and representative phenomenon in the history of pop music.” Now, if the Catholic Church can agree on this why is it so hard to convince so many other mislead music fans?

The AP story about Vatican’s gesture of forgiveness

Here is the CNN article with Ringo





Meat Free Monday

8 02 2010

Given it’s Monday, check out Sir Paul’s new campaign to give up meat on Mondays. It was developed as a way to raise awareness of the climate-changing impact of meat production and consumption. Many people are unaware that livestock production is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions… that’s more than the entire transport sector. Paul is really going all out on this one and rightfully so as I think it’s a great idea for a great cause. In order to bolster awareness, McCartney encourages supporters to write a song honoring the idea. So far there are tons of participants and it’s shaping up to be a success. See Paul’s song below:

The website for the cause is very informative and helpful for those that want to join the effort: Support Meat Free Monday

-Paul’s MFM Message

-Yoko on MFM

-Meat Free Recipes

-One of Paul’s earlier causes





Haitian Classic

13 01 2010

In the wake of yesterday’s horribly destructive earthquake, everyone has Haiti on the brain. Green Gorilla is no exception. Below is a classic song  from beloved Haitian artist Rodrigue Milien. He was one of Haiti’s greatest exports from an era well before the likes of Wyclef Jean.

Relief efforts are ramping up, see the video below for more info:








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