The Piano Story

Last night I followed the “Play Me, I’m Yours” art installation around Boston.

Started in 2008 by British artist Luke Jerram, the project has spread to over 1,500 pianos in 50 different cities around the world. Boston joined in on the project in 2013 and has since taken part every year. This year, 60 pianos were placed around Boston, each decorated by a different artist or community organization. The project uses the hashtag #streetpianosboston and brings about tremendous community engagement.

I initially intended to walk around, meet different people, and take note of the artists at every piano station, but a few were unfortunately closed for rain.

From there I continued down Huntington Avenue towards 1 Brigham Circle, as the map on the official art installation website had a list of all of the pianos in the area.

From there I asked if I could take pictures of the person playing and any onlookers.

 

All pictures were taken with the expressed permission of those in them.

After camping out at that piano stop for an hour, I started to connect with the people playing. A musician myself (piano since kindergarten, voice since the fifth grade, guitar since eighth grade, and resident Kerr Hall freshman circa 2012-2013), I have never taken part in the project but have always held an interest. I ended up being asked to sing with the people playing, as they found it less intimidating than my silently taking pictures and asking about them.

While not as plot-driven as a standard live-tweeted news story or event, I do hope that my tweeting of the Brigham Circle piano players at least launched a bit of public interest and recognition for community artists and the installation itself.

The project will be continuing around Boston until they are taken away on October 10. However, due to the popularity of the installation, one can be sure to find them in Boston year after year.

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