New York’s Street Pianos
I loved New York City’s cow parade when I first saw it in the summer of 2000, and enjoyed watching other cities follow suit, introducing their own public art “parades” of animals or objects scattered about, livening up the streetscape. But after several iterations, I have to admit that they also were starting to feel a little bit tired. So I’m excited that the natural progression of public art would be to actually engage the public in the making of art. Or music, for that matter.
Case in point: “Play Me, I’m Yours” an art project which will encourage New Yorkers to break into song from June 21-July 5th. Sixty pianos will be placed throughout the city by Sing for Hope in an effort to engage people in the simple sharing of songs. (Bets are on as to how many versions of “Chopsticks” will be played in two week’s time.) Installation artist Luke Jerram, who conceived the project, has done previous iterations of the public-piano concept in London (where you were able to stumble upon astounding performances like this one) as well as Birmingham, England, São Paolo, Brazil, and Sydney, Australia. The New York version will include performances by well known artists, and is being put on by Sing for Hope, a non-profit organization that mobilizes professional artists in volunteer service to benefit schools, hospitals, and communities. After they’ve served the public, all of the pianos will be donated to local schools.
I can already envision the rash of spontaneous sing-alongs breaking out on balmy summer evenings… What would you play if you stumbled upon a piano on your corner?
[Play Me, I’m Yours]
[The Village Voice]
Photograph by Luke Jerram
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