It was an ordinary day. It was a day full of life’s stresses. I was thinking too much about money. I was thinking too much about my need for a vacation. The daily grind had just “gotten to me.” And, then out of nowhere, walking through the park near City Hall, I heard a piano.
Maybe it was a busker. Maybe an event was happening. I rounded the curve and there was a man, sitting at a psychedelic piano. I stopped. My thoughts stopped. The music invited me to sit on a nearby bench and listen. So I complied.
I watched people as they passed by. I noticed how the same thing was happening to them. The music was stopping their thoughts. Even those too much in a hurry to sit down like me, still smiled as they heard him. Their faces registered a new thought.
The thought then came to me as well. “Sometimes, you realize that the world is not as complicated as we make it out to be.” My eyes drifted to a spinning air vent on top of a nearby building. Light raindrops fell from time to time, but I didn’t move. I let the music play to me.
The man was good, really good. It was a classical style in which his fingers worked the piano, but nothing I recognized. It had to be his own compositions. My heart just knew they were his. These compositions reminded me of the thought once more. “The world is not as complicated as we make it out to be.”
I sat there long enough to take this thought with me and remember it. I didn’t want it to fall out of mind like a helpless penny from a worn out pocket.
I snapped a quick picture as I was leaving and noticed the side of the piano read, “Play me – I’m yours.” Then I noticed that there was a chain keeping the piano in its spot. He was definitely not a busker, and I was glad this man decided to share his music with me and all the other human beings that just needed to know there was something beautiful out there, beyond their concerns of the day.
—Elise McMullen aka The Galavant Girl
“Play Me – I’m Yours” is an artwork installment by British artist Luke Jerram who has been touring the project globally since 2008. From 9 AM to 10 PM each day with the last day being July 5th, 60 pianos are available to be played across New York City. Presented by Sing for Hope, they are located in public parks, streets and plazas. Any member of the is free to play and engage with the piano.