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Play That Funky Music

Story: Brooke Jacobson | Photo: slapics
May 28, 2019
Play That Funky Music
Visual art and music are coming together like never before, for an interactive exhibition called ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’. Presented by the Queensland Music Festival and Brisbane City Council, the project will feature 20 pianos, scattered throughout the city, that have been decorated by artists and community groups.

One of the pianos will be placed on the Shorncliffe Pier, and members of the public are invited to come along and play the piano, anytime they like, for the duration of the exhibition.

Sandgate artist, Kate Jefferay, will be decorating two pianos – one as an individual project, and one with local community group, Womenspace.

“I’m actually going to be cross-stitching right onto my piano,” Kate said. “I’m drilling little holes into it and I’m stitching straight onto it, using t-shirt yarn.”

Kate’s design will feature colourful vintage-style roses. “It’s a nod to old embroidered doilies that people used to have on their pianos,” she said.

“I was a little nervous about drilling into the piano – woodwork is not normally my thing.”

The piano for Womenspace will feature string art, with little nails hammered into the piano and thread wound around the nails to form geometric shapes.

“I just really enjoy the challenge of doing something different,” Kate said. “I love doing traditional crafts on a bigger scale or in a way that is a bit unusual. Most of the pianos will be painted, so these ones will stand out.”

Queensland Music Festival managing producer, Pip Boyce, said ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ was started in 2008 by UK artist, Luke Jerram.

“The project has had iterations all over the world – London, Paris, Japan, New Zealand, Melbourne – but this is the first time it has come to Brisbane,” she said.

“In the 12 years of the project there have been 2000 pianos installed worldwide. The whole idea is to look at how we interact with public space. Having a piano there makes people re-examine the space. We’re so lucky to have such amazing artists working on these pianos, including the lovely Kate,” Pip said.

Each piano must have “Play Me, I’m Yours” somewhere on it and a piano tuner must be able to access the inside of the instrument.

“It’s a really wonderful art project and once the pianos are curated and in the different locations, it’s going to be amazing,” Pip said.

“The pianos do have a life beyond the three week installation – some remain in situ, depending on the location and the weather.”

Play Me, I’m Yours, as part of the 20th Queensland Music Festival, launches 2 July at Reddacliff Place in the city. The pianos will then be sent to their various locations from 5 - 28 July.