Artist Luke Jerram has put together street pianos installations in various cities.
The initiative comes as a reaction of a creative individual to the general rule, prohibiting anyone to play music in public places without special arrangement – no matter how skilful you are at playing your piano or how popular your music is with the audience.
Any musician would have been stopped immediately by security outside the City of London and Sing London festival.
In 2007 artist Luke Jerram installed 15 streetpianos across Birmingham, UK for the public to play. In just 3 weeks 140,000 people across the city played, listened and connected with one another.
Jerram said “Questioning the rules and ownership of public space ‘Play Me I’m yours’ is a provocation, inviting the public to engage with, activate and take ownership of their urban environment.”
13 pianos have been installed in São Paulo. Luke Jerram reported that many of those who stopped at the pianos had never played a real piano or even seen one.
30 Street pianos were set up across Sydney for the Sydney Festival 2009. A website (www.streetpianos.com was set up for the public to upload and share their films, photos and stories of the pianos being played.
In June – July 2009 30 Play Me, I’m Yours painted pianos by Luke Jerram were installed across London “like a creative blank canvas” for members of the public to play. The painting on each paino was chosen to suit it’s location.
The project was produced by Sing London and City of London Festival at a cost of £14,000. A music license had to be obtained for the location of each piano.
15 Street Pianos were located in and around Bristol in September 2009.
More info: http://www.streetpianos.com/