Monday, July 5, 2010

Play Me, I'm Yours!

Has anyone noticed that around the city for the past couple of weeks there have been random pianos just sitting out in the middle of parks and plazas with big signs on them reading, "Play me, I'm yours!"?

That one above is one of the pianos nearest to us, just a few blocks away in Greeley Square. As it turns out, the pianos are an art installation by Luke Jerram called (betcha can't guess!) Play Me, I'm Yours.

The idea is that there are 60 pianos spread throughout the city, open to anyone who wants to play them. Performers I've seen range from the amateur teenage tourist tickled at the idea of performing for an impromptu crowd to my professional accompianist friend who has made it her mission to play on as many of these pianos as she can (so far, she's at 21 pianos!).

I guess the artwork's intent is to play with the concept of ownership of public space and engage strangers in an artistic interaction that they might otherwise miss out on. Personally, I just think it's a blast to be walking through my neighborhood and come across strains of ragtime, pop music, or some Bach, depending on what fancy strikes and which random performer takes the stage.

Today is the last day to see the pianos and the performers, so make sure to stop and say hi if you see one. I could totally get behind these pianos being a permanent thing, I've really enjoyed them being here. Though I've never been the biggest art buff, I love all of the large-scale art installations that New York has to offer -- I just wrote about the subway station instrument, for one, not to mention the famous Gates project, the New York City waterfalls, and so many more.

What art installation has come into your life and did you like the experience?



  1. We had the same installation in London last year. It was a huge success! I walked past a large train station and there was an opera singer doing her thing on one of them. Everyone applauded at the end. It was really lovely.

  2. I was so excited to see this post! We were in New York a couple of weeks ago to get married and in one of our trips around the city as newlyweds we came across one of the pianos with a queue of people lining up to play it. It was just so fantastic to stand and listen to some great music whilst feeling the energy and enthusiasm it brought to the crowd. A real treat to happen upon. Yet another reason to love NYC!

  3. I just saw this in my neighborhood the other day - such a nifty concept!

  4. Wow...that is just too neat! I would love to see someone playing/singing/etc at one of the pianos!

  5. a wonderful idea, glad you posted on it!

  6. Hi! I'm a new reader and loving your blog! When I was in London last summer they had "Play Me, I'm Yours" pianos scattered about the city too.