Image Source:Flickr, Metrix X
Play Me, I’m Yours is an arts project by Britain’s own Luke Jerram which sees colourful pianos being scattered in cities all over the globe. They come with a straight forward message and an instruction at the same time – Play Me, I’m Yours. The project started back in 2008 and has travelled to over thirty cities, from Birmingham in Britain to Hangzhou in China, and has reached more than 3 million people already.
The idea for this ticks boxes of both arts as well as a community project. It came to Luke during a routine visit to his local launderette.
‘I go there every weekend and see people washing their clothes and waiting for clothes to dry and no one is talking to one another,’ he said. ‘They’re an invisible community – a community of people occupying the same space and not engaging with one another. Through putting a piano in that location, it would be a catalyst for conversation. It would get strangers to talk with one another.’
And it really has helped to get people together and talking. In fact, ever more than that – now and again Luke receives messages and even invitations to weddings after relationships and even marriages have sparked up after encountering the street pianos.
Image Source:Flickr, Ed Yourdon
The idea of the project is very simple, just like all the best things in life are. The pianos, all upright and most of them that have the best years of their existence behind them, are donated, painted and then installed all over a certain city. As told by the author of the project, the colourful make-over of the instruments has more than one reason, ‘to take the cultural edge off of them – so people don’t see them as classical, scary objects that are untouchable. It makes them more approachable.’ Also, the layer of paint helps to protect the pianos from weather that inevitably wears them out, sooner or later, but eventually. During the five years of the project so far over 700 pianos have been played all over the world.
Image Source: Flickr, chrisjohnbeckett
This year Play Me, I’m Yours street pianos have already appeared at Monterey, Munich and Geneva and are about to spring up in Paris and Cleveland, Omaha and Boston, US, later this summer.
Image Source: Flickr, Damien
For more information on where the pianos have been played already, where they are about to pop up or to watch it happening live via the web-cameras that are set up at the locations, have a look at Street Pianos
Want to hear the sound of a piano spring from around the corner in your own home town? Contact Luke and collaborate to bring it to your city!