Find Out Where to Play One of Boston’s Free Street Pianos
By now, you may have heard that 75 pianos will dot the streets of Boston, available for anyone to play, from this Friday September 27 to October 14. Now, with the location of the pianos solidified, you can figure out just where you’ll be making your Boston debut. Will it be to adoring crowds at Symphony Hall? New England Conservatory? The Newbury Street Ben & Jerry’s?
To celebrate their 75th season, the Celebrity Series of Boston is joining British artist Luke Jerram to bring his public piano installation, “Play Me I’m Yours,” to the city. Partnering with local organization, they’re setting up 75 pianos, each of them decorated by artists in ways that would make Liberace’s eyes bug out. (The Logan Airport one is crazy.) The idea is to inspire spontaneous connections between communities of people that often occupy the same public spaces without having reason to interact. Click around their site to find a piano near you.
YouTube videos from other cities that have hosted the installation, including London, Sydney, Paris, New York City, Sao Paulo, and Barcelona, give a sense of how Boston’s city streets might soon look and sound. Here’s a bunch of pianists playing Bach’s C major Prelude from the “Well-Tempered Clavier” on all of the Los Angeles area pianos at the same time.
The spread of the pianos through Boston’s neighborhoods follows some familiar patterns. There are huge concentrations downtown and in the Back Bay, a bunch more in Cambridge, and even some in Somerville. In neighborhoods from South Boston, to Roxbury, Dorchester, and East Boston though, you’ll be a bit harder pressed to find an impromptu piano party. On the bright side, if that’s the kind of public nuisance that makes your skin crawl—and if we know Boston, there are at least a few contrarians who think the encouragement of public singing is a terrible plan—at least you’ll have corners of the city to retreat to in peace, where you can grumble and be sad.