You don’t have to be the next Alicia Keys to play piano in front of a crowd in Boston this fall. Thanks to Play Me, I’m Yours, an installation by UK artist Luke Jerram, 60 pianos have been placed on the street in every Boston neighborhood and some locations in Cambridge. The mission? To give the people of Boston an open opportunity to play music for everyone’s enjoyment.
The Celebrity Series of Boston has brought the installation to our city’s streets. Local artists were selected to decorate a piano each, so the instruments have become not only vehicles for musical expression, but a public display of free, accessible original artwork throughout the city. Both the locations of the piano and the artists who were chosen to enhance them were intended to speak towards the spirit of Boston. Ben Kauffman, an artist and master’s candidate at New York University, grew up in Boston and designed a piano that will sit in the Berklee College of Music Bookstore, ready for music students to practice for an exam, or to just show off for their friends.
Harvard Ed Portal in Allston is a place that fosters educational, arts, and wellness opportunities for the Allston-Brighton community, and to extend their mission, they have welcomed a piano designed by local artist Christine Winship that will be accessible to its patrons.
Some artists were attracted to the project after seeing it the first time it came to town in 2013. “I fell in love with the entire idea,” said artist Sarah Iwany, who painted a piano for this fall’s installation, said on the Celebrity Series of Boston Facebook page. “The combination of art, music, and community is brilliant."