The concept, devised by British artist Luke Jerram, has put more than 130 pianos in parks, squares and bus stations since 2008 in cities including London, Sydney and Sao Paulo. And now it's New York City's turn to play, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Thursday.So I just hope.... I just hope, if your apartment or office is within earshot of one of those pianos that you like "Chopsticks," "Für Elise," Billy Joel songs, and the way it sounds when someone drags their fingers the full length of the keyboard. Why do Jerram and Bloomberg think that saccharine everyman "creativity" will blossom? Hey, New Yorkers, have you seen this extremely popular YouTube tutorial — "How to play EXTREMELY annoying songs on piano"?
"There's going to be a huge amount of talent here," Jerram said in an interview. "The piano's actually a blank canvas for everyone's creativity, really, so I just hope that the city enjoys it."
Oh, why am I so cynical?
Jerram got the idea at his local coin-operated laundry, according to a website about the project. He saw the same people there every weekend, but none of them talked to each other. He thought a piano might help bring people together in places like that.You know, years ago, when we remodeled the law school building here at the University of Wisconsin, some lawprofs — I won't say who — thought it would be a wonderful idea to put a piano in the atrium — a big open space where the students hang out to talk or rest or study. These professors enthused about the existence of perhaps one student who was an accomplished classical pianist. They imagined bringing people together through the music that would be unleashed from the hulking object. I was horrified. It was one of the few times over the years — and I've been here for a quarter century — when I spoke out and told people — in person — that their well-intended project was unlikely to produce the human happiness they envisioned. (I hope a metaphor alert is unnecessary, but... liberal policies....)
The results in other cities have been surprising and life-changing, [the artist] said in an interview. A woman in Sao Paulo heard her daughter play for the first time on one of Jerram's pianos in a train station. The mother had worked to pay for lessons for four years, but the family had no piano at home.So 4 individuals had a warm experience that they could have had in some other way. But then it wouldn't have pumped up the egos of the artist and the mayor.
In Sydney, a couple met at a piano and are now married, Jerram said.
"It seems like a good idea that brings a sense of fun and playfulness to the city," said David Rosenfeld, who was riding his bike in the area.A man on a mechanical device that will scoot him right out of there if somebody's granddad decides to play "Woolly Bully" or "96 Tears."
Most pianos will be open for song until 10 p.m.Oh, fine then. 10. After your nerves have been jangled for — what? — 14 hours, you can try to settle down to get enough sleep before it all starts again.
At least "Tilted Arc" was quiet.