I was recently asked by the City of Luxembourg to participate in their yearly My Urban Piano project.
The project consists of 21 pianos that are placed in the streets and near sights of Luxembourg city in order to liven up the public space.
Each piano has been ‘created’ by groups from the non profit, educational or artistic world, mostly together with an artist.
I was ‘given’ a piano and assigned a class of special needs teenagers from Ediff who looked at me with big eyes and full of expectations.
When I arrived, the piano looked like this. The kids had already taken off the decoration from last year and sanded it.
I had thought long and hard about how to approach this project, choose a theme and include the kids as much as possible.
So I chose the a simple theme of ‘LOVE/HATE’ or ‘DAY/NIGHT’ or ‘BLACK/WHITE’ because it was easy enough for them to understand it and participate.
First I let them go wild on the piano by dividing it visually into 2 halves: Day and night, so a dark and a lighter side.
I then asked them to cut out images and words that fit within those two sides: Day or Night, Love or Hate, Black or White.
We had lots of fun gluing them onto the piano.
Making a creative mess is relatively easy. Now came the difficult stage of ‘bringing it all together’. At this stage the kids were mainly watching me do my magic. Lots of ooohs and aaahs but also some ‘I don’t like this’ or ‘That is not my favorite color’ were heard. I enjoyed letting myself be influence by their feedback.
The kids loved the final result and we are all proud of what we have achieved.
All in all it was an exciting and humbling experience.
Our piano is located in the Luxembourg City station (Gare) from 1-18 June.