Image from Play me I'm Yours
Never mind downloading free music, get out there and play it for free. This month there are 30 "street pianos" strewn around London as part of the Play Me I'm Yours and Sing London festival. All over town people are sitting down and playing a tune. People have been jumping from their bus just to take a look. Others are dancing, or watching, and talking to strangers about this wondrous spontaneous event.
Image from Play Me I'm Yours
The pianos have either been donated or bought on eBay for about £100. Each one has been painted by artists to suit the location and there is a song book provided. The songs in the books are site specific: train songs at a train station and water-related on a bridge. A piano tuner makes the rounds by bike to keep them in shape. Once the project is over, they will be given to schools and community groups.
Photos and happy experiences are being documented on the site. Some people are following the pianos in different locations. One delighted pianist explained:
"On the way home from shopping we saw the piano again. A man was playing a jazz tune and a man just started to dance with my friend lucia. Afterwards, I summoned up the courage, egged on by my friends, and played the piano. It was such an amazing experience, just to be a part of a scheme like this. Today we went to Carnaby Street and saw the piano there. I played it as well and it felt really good to know that other people were just enjoying my playing. There was a note on the piano, and an address encouraging everyone who saw it to write to this person and share the love! It's an amazing scheme and I think it's uniting the capital through music!"
The concept was created by an artist, Luke Jerram, who has already done this in Sao Paulo and Sydney, Australia and will be doing it again in the autumn in Bristol. His goal is very simple: to get strangers in towns and cities to actually stop and talk to each other. It's all part of developing a sense of community and breaking down barriers to communication in a big city. Said another: "I think this is the most amazing idea ever! SO cool to sing unexpectedly on my way home from work." Play Me I'm Yours