Street piano project hits the right notes in Bristol this summer
Press release issued: 29 June 2017
Bristol will come alive with the sound of music this summer thanks to the world-famous Play Me, I’m Yours street pianos project.
The University of Bristol is sponsoring one of the 18 eye-catching pianos which will adorn the city, encouraging everyone to tickle the ivories from 17 August to 7 September.
Play Me, I’m Yours is the brainchild of renowned artist Luke Jerram, whose Park Street water slide, fleet of abandoned boats in Leigh Woods and giant replica of the moon have become massive draws for visitors to the city.
The Bristol art trail marks the 10th year of the project which has seen over 1,700 pianos in over 55 cities across the globe, from Hong Kong to New York, reaching over 10 million people and bearing the simple instruction 'Play Me, I'm Yours'.
The smash-hit project has spawned marriage proposals, inspired musical compositions, helped discover new stars and been played by celebrities including Jamie Cullum, Jools Holland, Alicia Keys and Cindy Lauper.
The initial batch of pianos will arrive by truck at the Bearpit in Bristol city centre today [29 June], before being put into storage ready to be decorated by their artists.
The locations of the street pianos and the artists who have decorated them will be announced later this summer ahead of the launch on 17 August.
Maggie Leggett, Director of Marketing and Communications at the University of Bristol, said: "We're really excited to be working in harmony with Luke Jerram to bring such a fun and interactive musical experience to Bristol. As a University, we have a strong commitment to public art and know how much joy previous art trails have brought to the city. I’m sure Play Me, I’m Yours will be a resounding success in a city so famous for its creativity."
This is the first time the project has been funded through the sponsorship of individual pianos. Arts Council England has match-funded the project, after £20,000 was raised via a crowd funder, as part of a national scheme to encourage wider funding of the arts.
Luke Jerram, the Bristol-based artist behind Play Me, I’m Yours, said: "I'm hugely grateful to all our sponsors for backing Play Me, I’m Yours and making this project a reality for Bristol this summer.
"There are also lots of pianists out there who don't actually have an instrument to play on and this is a way of giving them a chance to show what they can do. The pianos act as a musical blank canvas for the public’s creativity which is one of the reasons it has become so popular."
The sponsors who have made the project a reality are: the University of Bristol; At-Bristol Science Centre; Paintworks; Brunel's SS Great Britain; St George’s Bristol; Tobacco Factory; The Broadmead BID; The Galleries Shopping Centre; The Mall at Cribbs Causeway; Urban Creation; and Wapping Wharf.
Share your stories, photos and videos via www.bristolstreetpianos.co.uk, and on social media, Facebook (@bristolstreetpianos), Twitter (@streetpianos) and Instagram by searching streetpianos, using the hashtag #bristolstreetpianos.
About Luke Jerram
Luke Jerram's multidisciplinary practice involves the creation of sculptures, installations and live arts projects. Living in Bristol, UK but working internationally, Jerram has created a number of extraordinary art projects over the last 18 years which have excited and inspired people around the globe.
His well-known artworks include: Play Me, I’m Yours, the globally successful street pianos installation; his giant Park and Slide; the critically-acclaimed Sky Orchestra; his Glass Microbiology sculptures; and most recently Museum of the Moon which was hosted in the Wills Memorial Building earlier this year.