British artist, Luke Jerram, was under contract to Fierce Earth to deliver an art installation to the city of Birmingham, England that would reach an audience of 100,000 people. His creation, Play Me - I'm Yours, in which 14 used pianos were situated around the city for anyone to play, succeeded in meeting that goal. More than 140,000 people enjoyed the music of the pianos over a period of three weeks. Strangers met and played duets. Crowds gathered and sang old favorites. It clearly brought joy to many of those 140,000 people. Was Libertango played on any of those pianos? If it was, it never made it to YouTube.
Jerram's second installation of Play Me - I'm Yours was in Sao Paulo, Brazil and his program has now expanded to 273 pianos in 11 cities which more than a million people have enjoyed. And, he is not done yet: in August, street pianos are scheduled to appear in Belfast and more cities are probably on his list. Inevitably, such an idea has sparked interest in other places and cities around the world are running their own street piano programs. One such city is Dortmund, Germany which did credit Jerram with the idea but proceeded to install 30 pianos in their own version of the art installation under the title of Spiel Mich (which is Play Me, auf Deutsch).
And, the inevitable has happened: Piazzolla, a street piano and a video recorder have converged to give us today's video of ... surprise, not Libertango but rather Verano Porteño. The young pianist, Caroline Gustke, is filmed by her grandmother and is playing the piece from memory - perhaps a piece she played in a recital - and as the piece progresses she gets better and better. My thanks to her for sharing her Piazzolla with the shoppers in Dortmund and with us on YouTube.
Can you imagine how much Piazzolla will be heard when street pianos arrive in Buenos Aires?
If the video does not appear below, click here.
To learn more about Piazzolla videos, visit the Piazzolla Video site.