Pianos have been trickling out from the Arts Centre precinct and flowing down Swanston St, so my friend Andrew and I hit the road to see what they were all about. Starting from the State Library at the north side of town we stopped at each piano along the way. All were occupied with a line of people awaiting their turn, listening to the music from the current player. It wasn’t until we reached City Square, between Collins St and Flinders Lane, that we found a nearly-free piano – there were just two children and their mothers tapping out notes with the grand gestures of a master virtuoso. After their attention shifted to the giant wooden wombat sculpture beside the piano, Andrew sat down to join this incarnation of global public art.
More than 1050 pianos have been installed in 38 cities across the world as part of this artwork, entitled Play Me, I’m Yours. The brainchild of artist Luke Jerram, the work has been brought to Melbourne by the Arts Centre and will be about town until January 27.