DESKTOP
TABLET (max. 1024px)
MOBILE (max. 640px)
Return to Top
Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

On July 10, Toronto becomes latest city to join 'Play Me, I'm Yours' street piano phenomenon

By John Terauds on July 4, 2012

Artist Karen Miranda Augustine’s painted piano, representing Dominica, will join 40 other instruments on the streets of Toronto on July 10 (John Terauds photo).

On July 10, Toronto gets a taste of street piano culture in honour of the Pan Am Games, which the city will host in 2015.

The day includes a big flag-raising and celebration at noon, featuring the cultures of all 41 participant countries at Nathan Phillips Square. That evening, at David Pecaut Square, outside the former Metro Hall on King St W., CBC Radio’s Andrew Craig hosts a big concert that will, in its wake, unleash 41 pianos onto Toronto streets, parks, squares and, if things go according to plan, the ferry to Centre Island.

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, the founder of Musical Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds

Anyone walking past one of these pianos — painted by an artist with ties to one of the 41 countries — will be able to stop and play something, for as long as they feel like it. A sign on each piano will say “Play Me, I’m Yours.”

Musician and producer Don Shipley, executive director of arts and culture for the 2015 Pan Am Games, was looking for something fun and interactive with which to pique the city’s imagination. He found just the thing in the brainchild of British artist Luke Jerram, who has a long history of mixing media and genres.

Shipley, who lives in Stratford, first encountered Jerram’s work a few years ago at Stratford Summer Music, when the Briton set free a flotilla of balloons over the town, each equipped with a speaker playing classical music.

Jerram introduced the idea of painted street pianos with the “Play Me, I’m Yours” sign in Birmingham, four years ago. Since then, hundreds of pianos assembled for his installations have captured the attention of visitors in many big cities around the world. Among the installation’s next stops is Hangzhou, China, in October.

As the organizers put it, “Disrupting people’s negotiation of their city, the pianos are aimed to provoke people into engaging, activating and claiming ownership of their urban landscape. Like Facebook, the pianos, together with this website, provide an interconnected resource for the public to express themselves.”

If the playing is anywhere as inspired as the the artwork itself, it should be a great month for street music in Toronto.

For all the details on the events of July 10, click here.

For more about Jerram’s street-piano project, click here.

Here are some more pictures of pianos in various states of readiness for their July 10 unveiling. All of them were first prepared by technicians before being turned over to visual artists in the upstairs workshops at Robert Lowrey’s Piano Experts, in Leaside:

(All photos by John Terauds)

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, the founder of Musical Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300
comments powered by Disqus

Ludwig Van Toronto

SCRUTINY | The National Ballet's Frame by Frame Is A Tour-De-Force Of Astonishment

By Paula Citron on June 5, 2018

The brainchild of Robert Lepage and Guillaume Côté, Frame by Frame (An Homage to Norman McLaren) just might be one of the greatest ballets ever made in Canada.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300

SCRUTINY | Plenty To Celebrate In TSO Russian Evening With Daniil Trifonov

By Arthur Kaptainis on June 17, 2018

A-lister pianist Daniil Trifonov joins the Toronto Symphony and Peter Oundjian for an all-Russian program that was well worth the journey.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article

SCRUTINY | Soprano Keri Alkema Gives Her All In Season-Ending Vocal Series Recital

By Joseph So on May 23, 2018

Soprano Keri Alkema closes the Canadian Opera Company's Vocal Series, with an up close and personal program appropriately called "A Journey of Transformation".
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_low_590x300
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700

We have detected that you are using an adblocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website. Please whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.