The Ivory Coast
It takes a lot to pinch jaded old L.A.'s butt and make it holler. But "Play Me, I'm Yours" just might be up to the job. The brainchild of British conceptual artist Luke Jerram, presented by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, is a citywide installation of 30 upright pianos "vividly" decorated by artists big like Chicano Art Movement pioneer Frank Romero and famed freeway muralist Kent Twitchell and small. Unprecedented in scale, the keyboard extravaganza invites everybody, from concert pianists to the "Chopsticks" crowd, not only to view pianos transformed into three-dimensional works of art but to play them, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for three noisy weeks. "Play Me, I'm Yours" concludes the seasonlong celebration of conductor-pianist Jeffrey Kahane's 15th anniversary with LACO, and is intended to tear down the traditionally sacrosanct wall separating performer and audience. "With the pianos serving as blank canvases upon which people can share their own creativity, we look forward to hearing our neighbors, co-workers and other fellow Angelenos play these instruments," enthused LACO executive director Rachel Fine. The launch event, which takes place at California Plaza but also includes the other 29 locations, features 30 pianists ranging from stars like Kahane, Lucinda Carver, Mark Robson and Byran Pezzone to music students simultaneously performing the first prelude from Bach's Well-Tempered Klavier, Book 1, followed by pieces of their own choosing. Three hundred fingers, 2,640 keys let 'er rip. Launch event at California Plaza, 350 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Thurs., April 12, noon; installation runs 24 hours a day at various locations throughout the city thru May 3; free. Details and info: (213) 622-7001, ext. 221, or streetpianosLA.com.
Mondays-Sundays. Starts: April 12. Continues through May 3, 2012