KEYS TO THE KINGDOM
Free-for-all outdoor pianos
Beginning tomorrow, the sounds of Los Angeles--birdsong, traffic and a million mobile phone conversations--will be joined by the likes of Chopsticks and Cole Porter compositions when 30 pianos are installed from Lincoln Heights to the Santa Monica Pier.
It’s all part of a three-week public project called “Play Me, I’m Yours,” conceived and organized by British artist Luke Jerram. The collaboration with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra kicks off tomorrow at noon with all a full 30-piano performance of Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier.
Those pianists will be accomplished, but the event’s run is decidedly populist. Anyone can--and is encouraged to--use the pianos, which have been decorated by local artists and weatherproofed. To play, just show up, wait your turn and start tickling the ivories. After the project ends, the pianos will be donated to local schools and community centers.
This being Los Angeles, we’re expecting celebrity turnout (when the project ran in New York in 2010, Alicia Keys and Cyndi Lauper participated). But what we’re most looking forward to are the random moments of fleeting beauty when someone, anyone, takes time out of their day to play.