A few days ago, 60 pianos popped up around the U.S. city of Boston, with a simple invitation painted on: “Play Me, I’m Yours.” Painted in funky ways by local artists, they are part of project Street Pianos, meant to encourage city folk to make some music and have fun with their environment. They will be available to passersby in Boston’s parks, on streets, and beside the Charles River until Mon October 10, 2016.
Created by British artist Luke Jerran, the Street Pianos project sounded its first note in 2008 in Birmingham, U.K. and has since propped up over 1,500 pieces in 50 cities, including Munich and Melbourne. (Currently, there are also five pianos available for public play in Singapore.) The sight of an unoccupied piano is proving irresistible so far—there are a host of videos on social media of children, teenagers, even parents with kids in their laps, knocking out everything from Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu to Coldplay’s The Scientist. Boston’s even seen a rendition of the theme song of the Super Mario Bros. game; take a look at the video below.
Jerram first thought up the project while at his local laundrette, where he noticed that the same people turned up each weekend but didn’t strike up conversations with each other. Introducing a piano into the situation was his solution to the walls of silence, “as a catalyst for conversation and changing the dynamics of a space,” he writes on his website. Many people, he says, have met for the first time around the pianos. It’s even led to several marriages around the world.
Here are a few of our favourite ones: