Arts Centre Melbourne's PLAY ME I'M YOURS Set To Create Beautiful Music This Summer
Twenty beautifully decorated 'street pianos' will pop up around Arts Centre Melbourne, the CBD and in suburbs across Melbourne for everyone to enjoy from 19 January - 4 February 2018 when the interactive installation Play Me I'm Yours returns as part of the internationally touring artwork devised by British artist Luke Jerram.
Play Me, I'm Yours has been touring internationally since 2008. More than 1850 pianos have now been installed in 55 cities across the globe, from New York to London, Geneva to Sao Paulo bearing the simple invitation 'Play Me, I'm Yours.' The project has reached more than ten million people worldwide, with each new city becoming part of a growing legacy. The work was first presented in Melbourne in 2014 as the first Betty Amsden Participation program event, large-scale free projects for the community to enjoy.
The pianos have been located in public parks, train stations, markets and even on bridges and ferries. Questioning the ownership and rules of public space the interactive art work invites the public to engage with, activate and take ownership of their urban environment. Crossing boundaries of age, class and culture, Play Me, I'm Yours democratises the arts and encourages the exploration of creativity.
"I'm really excited to see the project returning to Melbourne in 2018, it was so popular back in 2014 so I have great expectations this time round. I'm looking forward to seeing people interact with the pianos, and to meeting some of the artists and groups that have transformed them into musical works of art when I visit in January. I'd like to encourage everyone, from confident professionals to first-time public performers and kids that have never played a piano before to get out and share their creativity!" says Luke Jerram, international artist and creator of Play Me, I'm Yours.
"Whether you're a trained pianist or you've never touched a key in your life, whatever your age, Play Me, I'm Yours is free for anyone to have a go and is another great summer activity for our creative state. It brings the joy of music to our public spaces and puts creativity exactly where it belongs - directly into the hands of the public,' says Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley.
All of the pianos have been donated by community members and will be painted and decorated by community and cultural groups across Melbourne working with a visual artists from The Blender Studios and then installed on the streets for the public to enjoy. After being part of Play Me, I'm Yours the pianos will be donated back to community, cultural and educational organisations.
The artwork has toured the world, acting as a high profile event for many organisations, including the Pan Am Games, LA Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Festival, City of London Festival, Faculty of Music at University of Cambridge and Barcelona's Maria Canals International Music Competition. Each city has a unique website where the public is encouraged to upload and share their films, photos and stories of their interaction with the pianos. The website aims to connect the different communities across the world, providing maps of each cities' piano locations and promoting special events. All content is created and uploaded by the public.
The project returns to Melbourne in 2018 courtesy of the Betty Amsden Participation Program, an annual community event series established by the late Betty Amsden and Arts Centre Melbourne to explore and encourage cultural democracy. The large-scale, interactive and free projects are designed to inspire and engage the city of Melbourne.
HISTORY OF THE BETTY AMSDEN PARTICIPATION PROGRAM
In 2014, the streets of Melbourne were filled with music as 24 pianos beautifully decorated by community groups graced the streets of Melbourne for three weeks over summer for anyone to play and enjoy in Play Me, I'm Yours.
In 2015, 7000 little wooden houses, all individually decorated by people from across Victoria to represent our feelings of home, filled our streets, parks, favourite city spots and social media for Home.
In 2016, in an Australian first the Dominoes project saw a 2 km chain of more than 7000 breezeblocks snaking through the city to bring Melbourne to a stand-still for one day.
In 2017, Fun Run saw artist Tristan Meecham run a gruelling 42 kms on a treadmill at Arts Centre Melbourne supported by massive visual effects, a sizzling soundtrack, a silky-voiced MC and hundreds of performers and athletes drawn from the local community.
Arts Centre Melbourne presents
Play Me I'm Yours
Various locations around Arts Centre Melbourne, the city and surrounds
19 January - 4 February 2018
A FREE installation
www.artscentremelbourne.com.au and www.streetpianos.com.au
For more information on the worldwide project, visit www.streetpianos.com