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Street piano project extends to more cities around the globe

Laura  Barnes
Street piano project extends to more cities around the globe

You may have seen various pianos set up in London train stations, New York streets and Parisian parks over the years. These are all part of the ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ musical project by British artist Luke Jerram, which has been touring internationally since 2008 to help encourage the public to tickle the ivories and enjoy impromptu music-making.

The project has proved a popular one and is now extending to a number of new cities around the globe.

Play Me I’m Yours has just come to an end in Paris and Grand Geneva, but next up will be Bristol from 17th August – 7th September, and Munich from 31st August – 17th September 2017.  

In 2018, the project is going to be presented in Kunitachi in Tokyo from 16th – 31st March for the first time.
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‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ was first commissioned in Birmingham, UK in 2008. With 15 pianos located across the city for three weeks it is estimated that over 140,000 people played or listened to music from the pianos.

Since then more than 1,500 street pianos have been placed in 50 cities, which have been played and listened to by more than 10 million people worldwide.

“The idea for Play Me, I’m Yours came from visiting my local launderette. I saw the same people there each weekend and yet no one talked to one another. I suddenly realised that within a city, there must be hundreds of these invisible communities, regularly spending time with one another in silence,” said Jerram.

“Placing a piano into the space was my solution to this problem, acting as a catalyst for conversation and changing the dynamics of a space. Where people have met for the first time around the pianos, the project has led to several marriages around the world.”

Play Me I’m Yours generally is presented in a city for 2-3 weeks, after which time many of the pianos are donated to schools and community groups within the area.

The project has attracted attention from a number of well-known musicians, who have praised the project for helping to create a community spirit.

“Play Me, I’m Yours’ created a beautiful and worthy moment for our city, by bringing the Street Pianos to our city’s parks and public spaces. It’s things like this that make me extra proud to be a New Yorker, and the endless possibilities represented in these streets,” said singer and pianist Alicia Keys.

Jazz musicians Jamie Cullum commented: “Such a simple concept that brings out the best in people. It reminds us of the strange and beautiful things that can happen in everyday life. I had one of the most memorable experiences of my life playing beneath the Sacré Cœur, Paris on an old upright piano for a few hundred people.”

Find out more about the project at http://www.streetpianos.com/

Tags: pianos , street piano project , play me i'm yours

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