Luke Jerram’s street pianos arrive in BristolPosted on: 15 Aug 2017
The new project from the man behind the Park Street waterslide, Play Me, I’m Yours, sees 18 pianos stationed around Bristol to be tinkled on by its public.
Yesterday, on an unassuming Monday morning, 10 brightly coloured pianos appeared at The Galleries in central Bristol, prompting an impromptu recital which drew surprise and delight from the assembled crowd of shoppers. Music was provided by The Fantasy Orchestra, comprised of five pianists accompanied by a small string and brass section, who treated the crowd to renditions of ‘Chopsticks’, Prokofiev’s ‘Dance of the Knights’ and a rousing finale of David Bowie’s ‘Life on Mars’.
This pop-up concert provided the first look at the component parts of a much larger project, Luke Jerram’s (above) Play Me, I’m Yours, which will see 18 playable pianos place around Bristol for the summer. The installation is the realisation of a great deal of graft from the artist and assistance from the wider public, who have helped carry off a successful crowd-funding campaign.
Jerram has risen to prominence in Bristol on the back of a number of intriguing art installations in the city, such as the Park Street waterslide, the boats in Leigh Woods and the moon in the Wills Memorial Building, but Play Me, I’m Yours has taken the artist to an international audience since its inception. Since it launched in 2008, the project has seen 1,500 pianos played in 50 cities worldwide, and heard by an estimated 10 million people.
The artist is now bringing the fun back to his hometown, which hasn’t had the public piano treatment for eight years. This latest chapter in the project represents the first time that individual pianos are being sponsored.
Speaking to Bristol 24/7 he said: “I thought it would be a nice way to celebrate the tenth anniversary of this art project by bringing it back to Bristol.
“If you can do something that’s of quality, that people enjoy, that captures people’s imaginations, then after a time your art form can become part of culture.”
Play Me, I’m Yours will be live in Bristol from the 17th August to the 7th September – you can find the locations of the 18 pianos here.
An ardent Geordie minus the accent, Sam seemingly strove to get as far away from the Toon as possible, as soon as university beckoned. Three undergraduate years at UoB were more than ample time for Bristol (as it inevitably does) to get under his skin, and so here he remains: reporting, as Assistant Editor, on the cultural happenings which so infatuated him with the city. Catch him at email@example.com.