Pianos in Public Places

A three-week installation invites Angelenos to tickle the ivories, whenever.

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Thursday, Apr 12, 2012  |  Updated 6:52 PM PDT
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Pianists played Bach simultaneously at 30 pianos scattered across Los Angeles as part of a <a href=public piano art project that's bringing music to the streets of LA. NBC4's Cary Berglund reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on April 11, 2012." />

Cary Berglund

Pianists played Bach simultaneously at 30 pianos scattered across Los Angeles as part of a public piano art project that's bringing music to the streets of LA. NBC4's Cary Berglund reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on April 11, 2012.

When you hear the words "major, citywide art installation" do you picture beautiful pieces that are made for looking and not for touching?

That's probably what we all picture, and that's cool; we like those kind of art installations. But we really like art that can be interacted with, and if you have a knack for making an artwork play lovely tunes? Even better.

So get ready, esteemed pianists and aspiring key ticklers of Los Angeles, because "Play Me, I'm Yours," an installation conceived by British artist Luke Jerram, is about roll into our city (literally roll, we'll add). Some 30 pianos will be set up in public places for three weeks and anyone is invited to play those pianos at any time of the day they like.

Link: Full List of Piano Locations

Now for a few extras from the neato file: The pianos will be painted and decorated by local artists (and not just famous local artists, neither, but people who just like to wield a brush and express themselves).

The pianos'll show up in the Pasadena Playhouse District, City Hall, USC, Santa Monica Pier, and Boyle Heights, just to name a sixth of the spots.

A wide array of local organizations and outfits are lending a hand, a piano, or are involved in some way. Call it an installation with citywide breadth.

And, those pianos? They're free to play. (But, obviously, if there's a queue of pianists waiting behind your bench, pay heed.)

And it is all in celebration of Jeffrey Kahane of the LA Chamber Orchestra's 15th season. (Mr. Kahane, as you likely know, is both a lauded pianist and the orchestra's music director.)

The dates are April 12 through May 3, and we hear that all 30 pianos will be played at the same time to kick off the installation.

To see where else "Play Me, I'm Yours" has gone, check out the site. It has visited 22 international cities, which means it brings a dash of culture and pizzazz with it wherever it roams.

Follow NBCLA for the latest LA news, events and entertainment: Twitter: @NBCLA // Facebook: NBCLA

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