Day 376: Play me, I’m yours

Luke Jerram's "Play Me, I'm Yours" art project.
Luke Jerram's "Play Me, I'm Yours" art project.

My good deeds today were small ones. I tried to be more thoughtful and considerate in my everyday dealings … even in the morning, when I’m usually a little slow on the uptake.

In fact, I enjoyed my morning coffee so much, I told the young cafe server who made it how good it was. Her kindness in return was to run back to the cabinet and pull out the packet so I could see what kind it was (Green Mountain, in case you were wondering).

Everyday Hero … the sequel
Last week, I named Luke Jerram, the British inventor and artist behind the international art project “Play Me, I’m Yours” as my Everyday Hero.

A reader in Australia (thanks, Eric!) kindly sent me a link to a story about another branch of the project Down Under and I found it so inspiring, I’m continuing Luke Jerram’s reign as E.H.!

You may recall that his project involved placing a number of pianos in public places (in cities in the U.K. and Brazil and Australia) for anyone to play, listen to, decorate or otherwise enjoy.

In reading the article Eric sent along, I came across some great stories of how these pianos have brought joy and magic into the lives of everyday people:

In Birmingham, U.K.

“There is another [piano] at Colmore junior school, where a teacher was persuaded into an impromptu recital dressed in white gown with veil fluttering in the icy wind. She had been on her way to her wedding.”

In Sao Paulo, Brazil
Jerram installed 13 pianos in São Paulo, Brazil….
“At £1,000 each (a year’s wage for some people) many people had never seen a real piano before, let alone been given permission to play one,” Jerram said later. “The project made national news there.”

On Jerram’s website, one commenter wrote that he had heard a piano being played on a Sunday morning at the Lux station … Bach, Tchaikovsky, then:

“The most incredible thing happened, (something I had never seen in my 10 years of musical studies) a beggar — tattered and dirty, and smelly — sat at the piano and incredibly started playing the first notes of the Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven).

Another commenter wrote:

First off I would like to thank you for bringing your project “Play Me, I’m Yours” to my city, São Paulo. You have no idea of the positive impact it has been causing in our community. Everyday I catch the subway at Estacao da Luz, where one of your pianos is located. This is a very busy hectic place, where most of the people are coming from or going to work in a fast pace so typical of a megalopolis.

It amazes me the power of the instrument, the magnetism that it generates among people.…. I believe we have to take art out of its common venues and make it more public, more accessible….

I usually wait for a co-worker right next to the piano, and as she is always late, I have the chance to observe people’s reactions. I’ve seen people walking by and coming back to listen to somebody play, I’ve seen people calling dear ones from their cell phones to share the music with them.

I’ve seen an ice cream vendor crying after listening to a song, I’ve seen a couple dancing, I’ve seen 2 blind guys with the subway employee ( in charge of guiding them) sitting down and taking their time to appreciate the music. I’ve seen children in total ecstasy jumping around while an old man played a famous Vivaldi piece (from a perfume ad here in Brazil)….I can feel the respect they have for the instrument, I’ve seen people caressing it gently, admiring the keys, the shape, all its contours…Thanks again! You brought slices of magic to us all!!!

Please, Mr. Jerram, bring your 88 keys to Canada!


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