We consider Luke Jerram‘s Play Me I’m Yours / Streetpianos the founding fathers of public piano festivals, as mentioned before. Their concept – as far as we can tell – got displayed more than any other worldwide. Since Birmingham 2008, a whopping 2000+ pianos in more than 60 countries. As a result, you might find hundreds of press-coverages of their concept over the years. Now that the enthusiasm around street pianos has grown so much, more organizing labels have emerged in every corner of the earth. In this blog I’d like to compare Mission Statements (“What we do, Who we are, About us”) of all those different labels and concepts, combine them into a Word-cloud. What is the overlap between all those organizations and which aspects stand out? Can’t think of a better summary, looking at the results:
Since we’ve visited many of their concepts, played well over a thousand of their public pianos over the years, I can’t say we’re surprised. The only thing missing at first glance, can hardly be caught in a single word-cloud: Combine a nicely art-worked piano, a location with a fair portion of bystanders and a few creative piano players. Blend them for a few minutes and even complete strangers will start talking to one another, believe it or not… Some of them might even put their phones away for a minute or two (unless they need it for filming the scene) … How’s that for a result?!
Now let’s be realistic; there is no subject in the world with just proponents, the public piano is no different. I will return to this in a later blog, but here’s the dark side of the moon, as abstracted from various media and in different languages. Oh and yes, we still talk about the same subject: public pianos 😉
Piano lovers, keep faith and enjoy your favorite public piano! The permits for that piano have been arranged, the opening- & closing hours carefully enforced, so what is left: Some people liking it and others who don’t! To convince those who appear to be indifferent, to inspire others who’re reluctant to play or sing in public, those remain our challenges 😉
Stay safe, enjoy playing!