Tuesday, June 18, 2013

June 16, 2013 Sing for Hope Pianos at Lincoln Center

Date: June 16, 2013
Event: Sing for Hope Pianos at Lincoln Center
Cost: FREE
Summary: 88 uniquely and artistically decorated pianos staged in the plaza at Lincoln Center with the public invited to come to enjoy them and play them.  A feast for the eyes and the ears!

For a couple of years now I’ve heard of this "Sing for Hope" pop-up Pianos (http://singforhope.org/).  Essentially, 88 differently painted pianos scattered throughout NYC, left in parks or other public places for people -- anyone, everyone -- to play.  The theme:  art for all.  I had always meant to try to go see some in their native locations but never quite got to it.  So I was thrilled to hear they were doing a closing ceremony of sorts by gathering all 88 pianos at Lincoln Center for all day Sunday.  After a morning bike ride and a quick breakfast, I grabbed my camera and headed to Lincoln Center.

And it was even better than I had expected.  So much better.  There are times when I just want to throw my arms out and hug an event and laugh in pure enjoyment.  This was one of those times.  I'm not sure I can fully explain why but it just was.  I had expected to fall in love with the pianos themselves, the colors and creativeness of each.  But I hadn't expected the pure cacophony of sound -- people playing pianos located right next to each other but playing different music.  Yet it wasn't noise, it wasn't dissonant, it was just so many different musical notes coming at you much like each piano was something different visually.  So I loved the pianos and I loved the music.  But I think what struck me the most, the thing that really made me want to hug the entire scene was the people.  The different races, ages, gender, types of dress, types of style that each person had.  It was a cross section of New York.  Not of high society New York (which one might think when one thinks of 'piano playing at Lincoln Center') but of all of New York.  Everyone coming together to just enjoy some music.

When I looked through all my pictures (I won't admit exactly how many I took), I would have expected that most would have been of the pianos.  But no, the biggest block of pictures were of the people playing the pianos.  The people, the players, they were what really captured my imagination.

Sadly, it is impossible to impart through pictures the audio aspect of the experience (even harder than imparting the taste and smells of the food festivals), but I hope the pictures at least tell a story you can understand....

Alright, let's talk about the over all scene.  As I said, there were 88 pianos, they were arranged in essentially three concentric circles around the fountain at the center of Lincoln Center plaza.  And to say that they were simply 'painted' would be an understatement.  They were decorated, each in their own unique and amazing way.

Here was the scene that greeted me when I first arrived.  The visuals alone were enough to make me know I was going to love this.

A couple more pictures of the general scene and the general variety of the pianos that were present, not just in how they were decorated but their very style and size.


Now some pictures of some of my favorite pianos.  There are 7 pictures below.  Seven.  Remember, there were EIGHTY EIGHT total.  I'm showing only a small fraction of them.  You can start to imagine the visual wonderland this was.

Sing for HOPE

This was a grand piano...covered in astroturf. Let me say that again. A grand piano. Covered entirely in astroturf. ... LOVE.

This one was just stunning.

This one was even educational!

Impressionist Piano!

This is a visual image of the physical represtation of music covering the instrument for creating music.  Woah.... mind blown.

Some were in 3D!

Now, for the players.  The people that made the music.  Note, not everyone played well.  Some just hit a few keys.  But it was still...musical, at least in this setting.  Also note, it's not like all 88 pianos were always being played.  That probably *would* have degenerated into 'noise'.  Out of 88, maybe 10-20 were being played at any given time.  So it wasn't overwhelming.  It was just perfect.  I understand that at the end of the day they did play a concert involving all the pianos but I wasn't there for that.  Maybe next year.  :)

This young man first took a picture of a few pianos (including standing on one of the seats to get a better angle) then sat down and started playing one.

I loved this.  The woman in the foreground was playing with every thing she had.  Full body involvement of a very dramatic piece.  The guy one piano up was just sort of tapping at the keys in a nice little tune.  And the kid in front of him just hit random keys to hear what they sounded like.  All in all...awesome.

She's got her iPhone, keys, little wallet-purse, and in her running clothes.  Why not stop and play a tune or two?

This kid had no idea what he was doing but man did he make it look good.

This guy, oh my goodness this guy.  He litterally rollerbladed right up to the piano, plopped right down on the seat and started playing. 

I mean wrist guards and knee pads and all, just started playing.

Loved this kid. He sat down, pulled a gnome out of his bag, set the gnome on the piano, took a picture of it, then started playing while his gnome looked on. Goodness I love this city.

This gentleman could play something fierce.  And he just seemed to move from one piano to the next, playing one tune at each.

Kid with glasses and a yankee cap holding court at a piano at Lincoln Center.  Is there anything more New York?

I think these guys were composing a tune.  Either way, they were in their own little world.

Speaking of being in their own little world, this gentlewoman was so at peace, so dignified, calmly playing a little song as the world went on around her.  Loved her.

So this gentleman was really having a grand time playing a jazzy little number and there was a woman nearby really kind of singing/clapping/dancing along.  When he finished, he smiled and pointed at her in appreciation of her appreication.  :)

Like the rollerblader before him, this kid just sort of rolled up on his bike, dismounted, and started playing.

And this?  What's not to love about a dad in army fatigues playing a super pink girly piano for his daughters?

NOW, just some departing shots...mostly some of my favorite shots.  :)

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of...









No comments:

Post a Comment