Music could be found in unexpected places in Aberdeen later this year thanks to a leading business organisation.
Aberdeen Inspired is spearheading plans to bring a popular street pianos project, which has been touring cities globally since 2008, to the Granite City.
The Play Me, I’m Yours initiative is the brainchild of British artist Luke Jerram and has reached more than 10million people worldwide. From New York to London, over 1,500 pianos have been installed in 50 cities across the globe, all bearing the message “Play Me, I’m Yours”.
Aberdeen Inspired will bring the global phenomenon to life in the city centre if voted through for another five-year term. A renewal ballot will open on February 4 and will run until March 17, with city centre businesses with a rateable value above £27,500 invited to vote on whether the organisation continues to deliver city wide benefits and improvements.
The exhibition will consist of a minimum of 10 pianos, which will be brightened up and imaginatively decorated by students at the North East Scotland College. They will then be placed in a range of prominent city centre locations available for anyone to tinkle the ivories for two to three weeks. The project aims to encourage people to engage with their city by providing a resource for the public to express themselves and interact with each other.
Gary Craig, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “The Play Me, I’m Yours project is a fantastic one which has achieved worldwide recognition and one we are hoping to bring to Aberdeen. The level of engagement it has brought amongst people in other cities is incredible and something we wish to replicate here.
“It is about bringing the Aberdeen community together through music and is a great way to utilise and brighten up spaces in the city centre for residents and visitors, with an open invitation for anyone to enjoy them and try their hand at playing something.
“This is a project everyone at Aberdeen Inspired is very passionate about and hope to bring to life for the people of the Granite City. We are asking anyone with an old piano they are willing to donate to get in touch with us and if we are voted through for another term, we will make Play Me, I’m Yours a reality.”
“In the meantime, we are looking for organisations to host the pianos during their display, covering them if it rains and taking them inside at night, so if your business is interested in this please let us know.”
At the end of the street pianos event in Aberdeen, a number of the pianos will be auctioned off. All proceeds will go to local city centre charities; Grampian Society for the Blind, British Heart Foundation, Barnardo’s, Befriend a Child and Cancer Research UK.
Aberdeen Inspired is appealing to anyone in the Aberdeen area who is willing to donate an old but still playable upright piano in relatively good condition to email email@example.com. If successful in the renewal ballot, the organisation will get in touch soon afterwards to test suitability and arrange uplift. Gordon Bell of Gordon Bell Pianos has offered his expertise in examining the pianos and tuning them if needed.
Aberdeen Inspired is the banner under which the Aberdeen BID (Business Improvement District) operates. It is a business-led initiative within the city centre in which levy payers within the BID zone contribute. Proceeds are used to fund projects designed to improve the business district. Further information on the work of Aberdeen Inspired is available at www.aberdeeninspired.com