Pianos appear where you least expect them across Birmingham!
Fierce! is working with international artist Luke Jerram on a unique community music project titled ‘Play me, I’m yours’. Between 10 and 25 March around fifteen pianos will mysteriously appear in streets, shopping centres and public places across Birmingham, written on the keys of each piano will be the words ‘Play me, I’m yours’. The project will launch on Weds 12 March 11am at One Stop Shopping Centre, Perry Barr.
The pianos are free for anyone to play. At different points between 10 and 25 March professional musicians will be invited to show their talents alongside members of the public who fancy giving piano playing a go! Locations include the Rag Market on Edgbaston Street in the City Centre, One Stop Shopping Centre in Perry Barr, two Schools in Kings Heath, the Children’s play area at Cadbury World in Bournville and Villa Park in Aston. We hope each piano will be personalised – (painted and decorated) by each community.
Through placing pianos across Birmingham the project will explore how communities access and participate in music making in a variety of settings. How long will the pianos remain in place? Who will play on them? Will each piano become a local meeting point as well as a talking point? Where will they end up? In someone’s home, in the river, burnt out, sold on ebay?
Each piano will have its own custodian, someone living or working nearby, who with Fierce! and Luke Jerram will document the community’s responses to the pianos by taking pictures of people playing them or wondering why they are there. The stories, films and photos will be posted at http://www.streetpianos.com.
Artist Luke Jerram said: “Like many people, I don’t know the names of the people living opposite our house. I’m interested to see if these pianos help to connect people and promote a sense of community. Some of the pianos will be loved, others ignored. Some people may just enjoy wrecking them, but that’s ok – the pianos are theirs! ”
Fierce! produces the annual Fierce Festival across the West Midlands. The eleventh festival will take place in May and June 2008, for more information visit http://www.fiercetv.co.uk. Previous public projects have included ‘Name in Lights’ with a resident’s name appearing in lights on top of Birmingham Library and the nest, complete with bird man, on the side of the Rotunda. Together with Luke Jerram projects have included hot air balloons and musicians floating above Birmingham and Stratford Upon Avon at dawn and the subterranean Tunnel Vision taking people underneath the city.
“Play me, I’m yours” has been funded by Birmingham City Council as part of the Urban Fusion programme.