At exactly noon on Thursday, 30 pianists sitting at 30 colorful pianos scattered at public spaces throughout Los Angeles County will simultaneously break into the first prelude of Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavier." The so-called play-in will mark the Southern California debut of a globally oriented public art project called "Play Me, I'm Yours."
But the real fun won't begin until after the opening performances have finished. That's when the pianos — in locations that include L.A. Live and Monterey Park, USC and UCLA, as well as Santa Monica Pier and Old Pasadena — become available to the public, for anyone and everyone to play 24 hours a day for the next three weeks. Kids can bang out "Chopsticks"; students can practice for recitals; pros can demonstrate Rachmaninoff.
The point is simple: Bring communities together through random acts of public music.
PHOTOS: Play Me, I'm Yours
"The idea of taking an instrument that's most commonly associated with living rooms and big concert halls and putting it outside sort of captivates the imagination," says Rachel Fine, executive director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, which is bringing "Play Me, I'm Yours" to Los Angeles. "I am a firm believer that music is for everyone."
They're not talking about abandoning your grandma's dusty old upright in the middle of Chinatown. The chamber orchestra spent more than a year preparing for this day, spending much of that time finding local artists and community organizations to decorate the pianos, most of which were donated by Hollywood Piano Co.
Photo: Director of the Pasadena Master Chorale Jeffrey Bernstein at Vroman's Bookstore on Thursday, April 12. Via Instagram