"PLAY ME, I'M YOURS"
BY ARTIST LUKE JERRAM,
UNPRECEDENTED, COUNTY-WIDE, FREE PUBLIC ART INSTALLATION
FEATURING 30 DECORATED PIANOS
IN PUBLIC SPACES FOR ANGELENOS TO PLAY 24/7,
PRESENTED BY LOS ANGELES CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
TO CULMINATE SEASON-LONG CELEBRATION OF
MUSIC DIRECTOR/PIANIST JEFFREY KAHANE'S 15TH ANNIVERSARY
Installation Runs April 12 to May 3, 2012
Designed to Foster Hubs of Creativity
Through Spontaneous Music-Making,
Pianos are Decorated by Local Artists (Celebrated and Amateur)
and Installed in High-Traffic Shopping Centers,
Corporate Centers, Schools and Other Public Spaces in
Downtown LA, Santa Monica, Monterey Park, Watts,
San Pedro, Panorama City and Points Between.
LACO Launches Three-Week Installation Thursday, April 12,
With 30 Pianists on 30 Pianos Simultaneously Performing
Complete Preludes from Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1
• Celebrated Musicians Jeffrey Kahane, Grant Gershon, Mark Robson, Lucinda Carver, Rueibin Chen, Derek Bermel and Promising Local Music Students Among Pianists Participating in April 12 Launch;
• Pianos Used as Three-Dimensional Canvases by Local Artists to Transform Them into Unique Works of Art, among them Famed Muralist Kent Twitchell, Chicano Art Movement Leader Frank Romero, Colombian American Artist Frank Cubillos, and Chinese Calligrapher Peizhi Yu with Son Qian;
• Additional Pianos Created by Community-Based Groups such as the Braille Institute; Fabian Debora, Homeboy Industries; Long Beach's Arts & Services for Disabled, Inc.; The HeArt Project in Collaboration with Graffiti Artist Man One; William Grant Still Arts Center with AISE; and Watts/Willowbrook Boys and Girls Club;
• "Play Me, I'm Yours," Already Staged in More than 22 Cities Worldwide, Originated by British Artist Luke Jerram, who Hosts a Dedicated Website Where Angelenos May Upload Photos and Videos of Themselves Playing Pianos;
• Sponsors Include Wells Fargo Foundation; Faucett Family Foundation; and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; with in-kind support from LA INC. and Discover the Arts LA; Los Angeles County Arts Commission; City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; Hollywood Piano Company; and media sponsorship from Los Angeles Times and Classical KUSC 91.5 FM
Los Angeles, the music capital of the world, kicks it up a notch thanks to the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) and its installation of "Play Me, I'm Yours," originated by British artist Luke Jerram. An unprecedented large-scale art installation, LACO's "Play Me, I'm Yours" features an astounding 30 vividly decorated pianos installed in high-traffic public neighborhoods across the Southland to bring music and creativity to the region for three weeks from April 12 to May 3, 2012. "Play Me I'm Yours," the culmination of LACO's season-long celebration of acclaimed Music Director and pianist Jeffrey Kahane's 15th anniversary with the Orchestra, offers Angelenos the opportunity to play the pianos 24-hours a day in outdoor locations that include Bunker Hill, Union Station, Chinatown, the Music Center, City Hall, Old Pasadena, Pasadena's Playhouse District, Santa Monica Pier, UCLA's Royce Hall, Hollywood's Egyptian Theatre, Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, USC, the Watts/Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club, and spots in Claremont, Torrance, San Pedro, Boyle Heights, Monterey Park, Panorama City, North Hollywood, among others. In addition to giving people the opportunity to play them or enjoy others doing so in random and spontaneous hubs of creativity, "Play Me, I'm Yours" involves local artists – celebrated and amateur, children and adults, able-bodied and disabled – to add visual punch to the installation by using the pianos as three-dimensional canvases to create one-of-a-kind works of art. The project includes a dedicated website – streetpianosLA.com – where anyone may upload videos and photos of themselves interacting with the pianos. Those materials become a part of the virtual community of streetpianos internationally.
The installation, a unique gift to Southern California, launches with a free countywide event on Thursday, April 12, at noon, featuring a simultaneous performance of the Preludes from Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 on all 30 pianos. Promising local music students as well as acclaimed musicians ranging from Kahane to Lucinda Carver; Los Angeles Master Chorale Music Director/LA Opera Resident Conductor Grant Gershon; Mark Robson of Piano Spheres; Bryan Pezzone; Rueibin Chen; Pasadena Master Chorale Artistic Director Jeffrey Bernstein; Peter Walsh; Gavin Martin; Tom McDonald; Piano Spheres Founding Member and Pasadena Conservatory of Music Piano Department Chair Susan Svrcek; Gideon Rubin; and LACO Composer-In-Residence Derek Bermel will each perform the first Prelude at noon followed by an additional Prelude from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 and a selection of pieces of their own choosing. Also helping with the musical kickoff are LACO Board member Raymond Lowe and Leslie Thomas, Director of the Community Arts Division for the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, both accomplished pianists in their own right.
"This special countywide tribute to Jeffrey Kahane reflects Jeffrey's incredible artistry, unbridled passion for music, deep devotion to music education, and all that he has given musically to Los Angeles during his tenure," says LACO Executive Director Rachel Fine.
Adds Fine, "With the pianos serving as blank canvases upon which people can share their own creativity, we look forward to hearing our neighbors, co-workers, and other fellow Angelenos play these instruments. Beyond solo playing, we encourage choirs, bands, other musical ensembles and even dancers to incorporate rehearsals or jam sessions at the piano sites. Some people may seek out all 30 pianos to see the different locations as well as the unique visual aspects of each instrument. The pianos are there to be enjoyed by everyone."
States "Play Me, I'm Yours" creator Jerram, "It's a great pleasure to work with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra to present my art project. This is by far the most ambitious presentation of the installation to date. I hope the public enjoys the project and takes advantage of the opportunity to perform, express themselves and go out and play."
While "Play Me, I'm Yours" is being presented by LACO, the Orchestra has established an extensive group of dedicated community partners to bring this immense project to fruition. Among the 30 sites selected for the installation, 10 are in the Downtown Los Angeles area, including the California Plaza; Wells Fargo Center; Chinatown Central Plaza; International Plaza, Ronald Tutor Campus Center at the University of Southern California; L.A. LIVE; Los Angeles City Hall Complex; Music Center of Los Angeles County; El Pueblo Historical Monument on Olvera Street; Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts; and Union Station. Piano sites in the San Gabriel Valley/The Foothills are Rhino Records in Claremont; Glendale Community College; One Colorado in Old Pasadena; Pasadena Conservatory of Music; and Vroman's Courtyard in the Pasadena Playhouse District. Locations in Santa Monica/Westside are Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA; the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica; Santa Monica Pier; and the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. In Hollywood/Mid-City, pianos are to be installed at the Egyptian Theatre; Nate Holden Performing Arts Center; William Grant Still Arts Center; and The Variety Building at 5900 Wilshire Boulevard (hosted by The Wende Museum). South LA/Harbor area locations are the Cultural Arts Center Plaza in Torrance; San Pedro's Warner Grand Theatre; and the Watts/Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club. Locales on the Eastside are the Los Angeles Music and Art School in Boyle Heights; and Atlantic Times Square in Monterey Park. In the San Fernando Valley, pianos are to be installed at El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood; and Plaza del Valle in Panorama City. The piano at USC, on campus for all three weeks, is also a highlight of the Los Angeles Times April 21/22 Festival of Books.
Designing the pianos are professional artists including famed muralist Kent Twitchell, whose massive mural "Harbor Freeway Overture" on the 110 Freeway in Downtown LA was painted 20 years ago in homage to LACO and features LACO musicians; Chicano Art Movement leader Frank Romero; Colombian American artist Frank Cubillos; Chinese calligrapher Peizhi Yu with son Qian; composer/pianist/artist Timothy Andres who received LACO's 2012 Sound Investment commission; Alexander Mihaylovich; Christine Mason Miller; Danny Heller; Evan Skrederstu; Mike Rosell; Oscar Magallanes; Ray Mc Cray; and graphic designer Roseline Seng.
Among the many community-based organizations decorating pianos are Arts & Services for Disabled, Inc.; Braille Institute; Canoga Park Youth Arts Center; Shan Chao and Cindy Suriyani, in collaboration with Chinatown Service Center; Crossroads School; Fabian Debora, Homeboy Industries; Gino Gaspara, Armory Center for the Arts; Andre Miripolsky, Hollywood Arts Council; Los Angeles Music and Art School; New Roads School; Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts; Raoul De La Sota and Pola Lopez, Avenue 50 Studio; Ryman Arts; The HeArt Project in collaboration with graffiti artist Man One; Watts/Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club; and William Grant Still Arts Center with AISE. In addition, LACO musicians and staff and their families add their creative stamp to one of the pianos.
LACO's monumental installation marks the Southern California debut of "Play Me, I'm Yours," a conceptual artwork by British artist Luke Jerram that has been touring internationally since 2008. To date, more than 500 pianos have been made available to the public in some 22 cities across the globe, from New York to Sydney, bearing the simple instruction "Play Me, I'm Yours." The project has reached more than two million people worldwide, with each new city that commissions the work becoming part of a growing legacy. In 2012, in addition to Los Angeles, the artwork will be presented in San Juan (Puerto Rico) in May, London and Salt Lake City in June and Salem (Oregon) in July, with more cities to follow. Jerram creates a website for the public in each city to upload videos, photos and stories sharing their interaction with the pianos. The websites act as one of the legacies for the project while serving to connect the pianos and communities across each city. The website for LACO's presentation in Los Angeles is streetpianosLA.com. After each presentation of the project, the pianos are donated to schools and community groups in the area.
In Los Angeles, LACO has organized the donation of 30 upright pianos from generous individuals and organizations facilitated by the Hollywood Piano Company. Additionally, the Orchestra invited visual artists to paint the pianos and community organizations to decorate them and act as site hosts. It has also arranged for "piano buddies" (volunteer caretakers) to oversee the care of each piano throughout the three-week period. Each piano is equipped with a plastic cover in case of rain, and the pianos will be tuned throughout the installation to ensure playability. "Play Me, I'm Yours" is a capstone to Discover the Arts LA, a city-wide celebration of the arts created annually by LA INC.
In addition to the many community partners donating time, space and assistance to help make the installation possible, "Play Me, I'm Yours" sponsors include Wells Fargo Foundation; Faucett Family Foundation; and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; with in-kind support from LA INC. and Discover the Arts LA; Los Angeles County Arts Commission; City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; and the Hollywood Piano Company. Media sponsors are the Los Angeles Times and Classical KUSC 91.5 FM.
For additional information about "Play Me I'm Yours," please call 213 622 7001 x 221 or visit www.streetpianosLA.com.
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
"Play Me, I'm Yours" by artist Luke Jerram
unprecedented free three-week-long art installation by Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra featuring 30 decorated pianos in 30 neighborhood locations around Los Angeles County
Thursday, April 12, 12 noon – Thursday, May 3, 2012
(Pianos are on display and accessible for public to play 24 hours per day, 7 days per week)
Information available online at streetpianosLA.com, or by phone 213 622 7001
WHERE: 30 sites across the Southland
Downtown Los Angeles
1. Bunker Hill: California Plaza
2. Bunker Hill: Wells Fargo Center
3. Chinatown Central Plaza
4. International Plaza, Ronald Tutor Campus Center, University of Southern California
5. L.A. LIVE
6. Los Angeles City Hall Complex
7. Music Center of Los Angeles County
8. Olvera Street: El Pueblo Historical Monument
9. Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts
10. Union Station
San Gabriel Valley/The Foothills
11. Claremont: Rhino Records
12. Glendale Community College
13. Old Pasadena: One Colorado
14. Pasadena Conservatory of Music
15. Pasadena Playhouse District: Vroman's Courtyard
16. Royce Hall, UCLA
17. Santa Monica: Annenberg Community Beach House
18. Santa Monica Pier
19. VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
20. Hollywood: Egyptian Theatre
21. Nate Holden Performing Arts Center
22. William Grant Still Arts Center
23. 5900 Wilshire Boulevard: The Variety Building
South LA/Harbor area
24. San Pedro: Warner Grand Theatre
25. Torrance: Cultural Arts Center Plaza
26. Watts/Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club
27. Boyle Heights: Los Angeles Music and Art School
28. Monterey Park: Atlantic Times Square
San Fernando Valley
29. North Hollywood: El Portal Theatre
30. Panorama City: Plaza del Valle
ARTISTS DECORATING PIANOS:
1. Alexander Mihaylovich
2. Christine Mason Miller
3. Danny Heller
4. Evan Skrederstu
5. Frank Cubillos
6. Frank Romero
7. Kent Twitchell
8. Mike Rosell
9. Oscar Magallanes
10. Peizhi & Qian Yu
11. Ray Mc Cray
12. Roseline Seng
13. Timothy Andres
14. Arts & Services for Disabled, Inc.
15. Braille Institute
16. Canoga Park Youth Arts Center
17. Crossroads School
18. Fabian Debora, Homeboy Industries
19. Gino Gaspara, Armory Center for the Arts
20. Andre Miripolsky, Hollywood Arts Council
21. Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
22. Los Angeles Music and Art School
23. New Roads School
24. Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts
25. Raoul De La Sota & Pola Lopez, Avenue 50 Studio
26. Ryman Arts
27. Shan Chao & Cindy Suriyani, in collaboration with Chinatown Service Center
28. The HeArt Project, in collaboration with Man One
29. Watts/Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club
30. William Grant Still Arts Center, with AISE
Thursday, April 12, 2012 to Thursday, May 3, 2012