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September 22, 2012

4

“Play Me, I’m Yours”

by soundlandscapes

I LEFT PARIS earlier this week and went to London for a couple of days. I travelled on the Eurostar so two hours and fifteen minutes after leaving the Gare du Nord in Paris I was in St Pancras railway station in London.

Arriving at St-Pancras:

London of course has just hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Games and some reminders of that remarkable few weeks this summer remain in St Pancras station.

I like St Pancras station not only for its stunning Victorian architecture but also because it has a Foyles bookshop that gives me endless pleasure and which seems to extract money from my wallet quite effortlessly. It was while I was in Foyles earlier this week that I heard the sound of a piano. I went to investigate.

A Man and a Piano:

Although the sound of a piano is not something that one expects to hear in a railway station, St Pancras has given me musical surprises before as you can see here.

Today’s surprise though came from one of the pianos I discovered placed around the station which is actually an artwork by British artist Luke Jerram called, “Play Me, I’m Yours”. Reaching over two million people worldwide – more than seven hundred pianos have already been installed in cities across the world bearing the simple instruction ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’.

Located in public parks, bus shelters and train stations, outside galleries and markets and even on bridges and ferries, the pianos are available for any member of the public to play and enjoy. Many pianos are personalised and decorated by artists or the local community. By creating a place of exchange ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ invites the public to engage with, activate and take ownership of their urban environment.

“Play Me, I’m Yours”:

Taking ownership of this particular piece of the urban environment was this delightful, foot-tapping, American gentleman who brightened up everyone’s afternoon including mine.

And ….

Play Me, I’m Yours‘ has also been to Paris. I found it in the CNIT at La Défense in July.

 

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Saw a couple of these pianos in Paris a little while ago. Love the idea! His first tune was a sped-up version of Miles Davis’ “So What” which I’ve always loved, so that was a treat to hear, thanks!

    I always hear great things about how easy it is to get to London from here and I’m always dreaming of hopping on the Eurostar…I really should just do it already!

    Reply
    • Sep 24 2012

      Thanks Corey. You really should give the Eurostar a try. It’s quick, easy and comfortable. I can’t imagine why anyone would even think of flying from Paris to London!

      Reply
  2. Sep 24 2012

    Not quite the same tone as the no. 39 bus is it? I remember seeing the pianos in the streets of Sydney years ago. There was a beautiful moment along one street when a homeless woman played a classical piece in the early hours of the morning.

    Reply
    • Sep 24 2012

      Thanks Jay. You’re right, it’s completely different from the 39 bus … but isn’t that what makes our sound world so fascinating? I love your story about the woman in Sydney.

      Reply

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