Touring internationally since 2008, “Play Me, I’m Yours” is an interactive art exhibit developed by UK artist Luke Jerram. The exhibit made its way to Austin for the month of April 2011, attracting a a flood of people who came out to play and decorate the 14 pianos that were strategically placed throughout downtown Austin. Located in public parks, on bridges and in squares, the pianos were available for any member of the public to play. The pianos were also free for the public to decorate and personalize.
More than 400 pianos have been installed in cities around the world, bearing the simple instruction "Play Me, I’m Yours." Austin is the 17th city to host the musical display, following in the footsteps of São Paolo, Sydney, London, Barcelona, New York City, Belfast and more. The project was curated locally by artist Johnny Walker and Art Alliance Austin, who placed pianos in locations such as City Hall Plaza, the First Street Pedestrian Bridge, The W, and the Long Center.
It was no surprise that the pianos were a big hit with the Austin crowd, who took full advantage of the instruments that were so lovingly placed at their disposal. Here are a handful of videos I've found that show people enjoying the exhibit, and making it their own.
Here is duet with piano and a professional flautist taking on Pink Floyd's "The Great Gig In The Sky." The video was taken at Lou Neff Point in Zilker Park.
Local composer Ara Eissler chose nine of the various locations and composed a short piano piece for each one. He then put on a tuxedo and rode his bike to each location, performing the nine pieces in a circuit around Town Lake. You can view each piece and read more about the project here. KVUE also ran a story on it here.
And here is the Austin quintet Ukemi performing one of their original songs. The band describes their style as "tight-knit organic music steeped in alternative, classical, singer-songwriter, and world music roots." You can find them at facebook.com/ukemimusic. There's another video of Ukemi doing their thing here.