From June 21st to July 5th, New Yorkers will have the opportunity to participate in what could very well be the most entertaining musical odyssey of the summer, as artist Luke Jerram and the non-profit organization Sing for Hope install sixty public upright pianos on the streets of New York City.
In an installation that has been traveling the world since 2008, the ‘Play me I’m Yours’ project will distribute pianos throughout all five boroughs like a musical map, free for curious passers-by to stop and play. This will no doubt lead to some of the most surprising and beautiful public performances, as regular citizens are turned into entertainers and professional musicians of all stripes take their curious sounds to the streets.
One audacious musician, New York based Jazz/Soul/Funk musician extraordinaire, Nigel Hall, is taking this on as a personal challenge, and has promised to go “All City” on the pianos, meaning he will play ALL SIXTY pianos in only seven days. Nigel likens his quest to that of old school NYC graffiti artists, for whom going “All City” – leaving a tag on every subway line in the city – was the ultimate public exposure of their art.
Nigel’s journey will take him from the top of The Bronx to the Coney Island Boardwalk and everywhere in between; guiding audiences on an inspired trek of public performance in an effort to discover the city he loves through the music he creates.
Nigel is not alone - New Yorkers of all shapes, sizes, and musical abilities will join him, and use the pianos and the gift of free music to rediscover the furthest reaches and hidden corners of the most exciting city on earth.
The documentary filmmakers at Guaga Productions will also be following Nigel on his quest to go All City and capturing whatever happens for posterity.
Those of you who won’t be in New York, or simply can’t hang with Nigel for some unforeseen reason, can follow updates on his progress here on the Atlas Obscura blog.
To help Nigel and the film crew pull of this impromptu musical masterpiece, they need a few bucks for supplies, so they’ve lanched a Kickstarter page to raise money. Donations are not simply appreciated, they will be met with rapturous gratitude, not to mention sweet rewards!