Play Me, I’m Yours

Play MeArts Centre Melbourne presents Play Me, I’m Yours as part of the internationally touring artwork devised by British artist Luke Jerram for three weeks in January 2014.

More than 20 ‘street pianos’ will pop up around Arts Centre Melbourne, the city and surrounds, to encourage people to play and discover their inner creativity and spontaneity.

Over the past few months, the pianos have been painted and decorated by various community groups in readiness for the public to enjoy.  After being part of Play Me, I’m Yours, the pianos will be donated to community groups across Melbourne.

Play Me, I’m Yours has been touring internationally since 2008. Nearly 1000 pianos have now been installed in 37 cities across the globe, from New York to London, Geneva to Sao Paulo bearing the simple invitation Play Me, I’m Yours.

The project has reached more than three million people worldwide, with each new city becoming part of a growing legacy. From New York to Brazil to Barcelona, the pianos have been located in public parks, train stations, markets and even on bridges and ferries.

Questioning the ownership and rules of public space, Play Me I’m Yours invites the public to engage with, activate and take ownership of their urban environment.

Crossing boundaries of age, class and culture, Play Me, I’m Yours democratises the arts and encourages the exploration of creativity by everyone.

“The idea for Play Me, I’m Yours came from visiting my local launderette. I saw the same people there each weekend and yet no one talked to one another,” says international artist and creator, Luke Jerram.

“I suddenly realised that within a city, there must be hundreds of these invisible communities, regularly spending time with one another in silence. Placing a piano into the space was my solution to this problem, acting as a catalyst for conversation and changing the dynamics of a space.”

The artwork has toured the world, acting as a high profile event for many organisations, including the Pan Am Games, 2010 European Capital of Culture in Pecs, LA Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Festival, City of London Festival, Faculty of Music at University of Cambridge and Barcelona’s Maria Canals International Music Competition.

Each city has a unique website where the public upload and share their films, photos and stories of their interaction with the pianos. The website aims to connect the different communities, providing maps of each cities’ piano locations and promoting special events. All content is created and uploaded by the public.

The project is partly funded by the Betty Amsden Participation Program, which is a $1million grant which enables Arts Centre Melbourne presents participation projects over the next four years.

Play Me, I’m Yours runs 9 – 27 January 2014 at various locations around Arts Centre Melbourne, the city and surrounds. For more information on the local project, visit: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au/pianos

For more information on the worldwide project, visit: www.streetpianos.com

Image: courtesy of Arts Centre Melbourne

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