I believe we need more moments of spontaneity, joy and surprise in our cities and a project like Luke Jerram’s Street Pianos gives us that opportunity; a chance for us to stop, look each other in the eye, and play. But these kind of lets-all-paint-one-of-the-same-thing projects can really bomb. (Case in point 99% of the Cool Globes installed in Boston.) So when I saw Celebrity Series was bringing the program to Boston I decided I was up for the challenge.
Step one: choose a piano and listen to her story
When I chose my piano, a petite Starck, I immediately saw it as a feminine form and appreciated the lines created by the original designer. It's low to the ground with curves that wrap around the front. It's finished in a deep mahogany. When I realized this understated lady would have her backside exposed I knew wanted to gussy her up; to touch up her scratches and create something elegant to commemorate the original designer, the women who played on her, and the pluckiness of women of that era who kept their heads up and looked good despite oppression, financial uncertainty and war. Thus the idea of creating an evening dress and accessories for the piano was born.
Step two: research
Because I’m fresh out of grad school no project goes unresearched. “Nite Life” will be a tribute to the African American women of jazz; in particular the musicians of the late 30s and early 40s like Mary Lou Williams and Carline Ray.
Step three: just make it