June 6 - Pianos are placed across New York City so that passers-by can enjoy the arrival of spring with a musical twist. Sharon Reich reports.
He may be a little off key, but Mr. Om isn't missing his chance to play piano in New York's Central Park. Thanks to a public art project titled "Sing for Hope Pianos", Om is playing one of 88 pianos that have been painted by a local artist and placed at landmark sites throughout the city. Om's owner Robyn Byrd has been waiting for the project to return. She said she took Om to the park to play last year too. SOUNDBITE: New Yorker Robyn Byrd saying (English): "I thought he'd play something really nice but he didn't." Internationally acclaimed sopranos Camille Zamora and Monica Yunus, co-founded "Sing for Hope," and share a common belief in the power of arts to transform communities. SOUNDBITE: Camille Zamora, Co-founder of "Sing for Hope," saying (English): "We also love the way that it connects people. I think for New Yorkers to stop what they're doing takes a lot and a you know painted piano in the middle of the street is enough to get us to break our stride you know connect with a part of ourselves and I think with each other in ways that we wouldn't otherwise." At one of the Central Park pianos, tourists passing by stopped to play a few chords. Minnesotans Mark and Elly Stahl jumped at the chance to perform a "Chopsticks" duet while birds chirped in the background. SOUNDBITE: Mark Stahl from Minnesota saying (English): "I think this is a really, really cool thing ... I've always wanted to take an instrument with me wherever I go but having one here you can just go out and play it." Thousands of people will take their turn on the these keys before the project ends on June 16th.