Los Angeles, the music capital of the world, kicks it up a notch thanks to the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) and its installation of "Play Me, I'm Yours," originated by British artist Luke Jerram. An unprecedented large-scale art installation, LACO's "Play Me, I'm Yours" features an astounding 30 vividly decorated pianos installed in high-traffic public neighborhoods across the Southland to bring music and creativity to the region for three weeks from April 12 to May 3, 2012.
"Play Me I'm Yours," the culmination of LACO's season-long celebration of acclaimed Music Director and pianist Jeffrey Kahane's 15th anniversary with the Orchestra, offers Angelenos the opportunity to play the pianos 24-hours a day in outdoor locations that include Bunker Hill, Union Station, Chinatown, the Music Center, City Hall, Old Pasadena, Pasadena's Playhouse District, Santa Monica Pier, UCLA's Royce Hall, Hollywood's Egyptian Theatre, Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, USC, the Watts/Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club, and spots in Claremont, Torrance, San Pedro, Boyle Heights, Monterey Park, Panorama City, North Hollywood, among others. In addition to giving people the opportunity to play them or enjoy others doing so in random and spontaneous hubs of creativity, "Play Me, I'm Yours" involves local artists – celebrated and amateur, children and adults, able-bodied and disabled – to add visual punch to the installation by using the pianos as three-dimensional canvases to create one-of-a-kind works of art. The project includes a dedicated website – streetpianosLA.com – where anyone may upload videos and photos of themselves interacting with the pianos. Those materials become a part of the virtual community of streetpianos internationally.
The installation, a unique gift to Southern California, launches with a free countywide event on Thursday, April 12, at noon, featuring a simultaneous performance of the Preludes from Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 on all 30 pianos. Promising local music students as well as acclaimed musicians ranging from Kahane to Lucinda Carver; Los Angeles Master Chorale Music Director/LA Opera Resident Conductor Grant Gershon; Mark Robson of Piano Spheres; Bryan Pezzone; Rueibin Chen; Pasadena Master Chorale Artistic Director Jeffrey Bernstein; Peter Walsh; Gavin Martin; Tom McDonald; Piano Spheres Founding Member and Pasadena Conservatory of Music Piano Department Chair Susan Svrcek; Gideon Rubin; and LACO Composer-In-Residence Derek Bermel will each perform the first Prelude at noon followed by an additional Prelude from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 and a selection of pieces of their own choosing. Also helping with the musical kickoff are LACO Board member Raymond Lowe and Leslie Thomas, Director of the Community Arts Division for the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, both accomplished pianists in their own right.
LUKE JERRAM is a British artist (born 1974) whose multidisciplinary practice involves the creation of sculptures, installations and live arts projects. Living in the UK but working internationally, Jerram has created a number of extraordinary art projects that have excited and inspired people around the globe.