It’s here. Better not blink or you might miss it.
The Summer Solstice that is. The longest day of the year comes and goes so quickly. I always wondered why the universe couldn’t be designed to give everyone a longest “week of the year” instead of just one day. Seems like an awful lot of build up to be so fleeting. Oh well. Guess it’s best not to waste time today.
For this day of lengthy and sunny proportions, sounds and melodies are just as plentiful. If you don’t have somewhere to be right after reading this, I openly say, bike, skate, run or skip merrily in rhythm to your nearby NYC park, plaza or landmark.
Reserved just for today, are the many festivities of Make Music New York. The five year old city wide festival is executed by non-profit, volunteer means and promotes listening to, playing and enjoying all kinds of music. MMNYC does all the heavy lifting of running an outdoor event by managing permit paperwork, securing locations and organizing volunteers to coordinate performances. All that’s really required is the desire to play live music for the sake of live music! How much purer can you get, right? And it doesn’t even matter if you don’t have a band!
The idea is actually not a NYC-born phenomenon, as it originated in France. NYC’s version is inspired from the Fête de la Musique, or “World Music Day.” Indeed, the celebrations are held worldwide, as MMNYC cites more than 460 cities in 110 countries that also cross all continents except Antarctica. The scope of music genres and actively participating venues makes musicians almost unavoidable. Aside from the hundreds of free concerts and performances you’re liable to find on any given sidewalk, there are a bunch of special large events held at key places in the city, including a secret piece that was performed as a free flowing, open collaboration at sunrise by Yoko Ono and whomever else might have walked by to participate.
Personally, my favorite of the featured icons of this day are the beautifully unique, painted Pop-Up Pianos that are brought to life by the organization Sing for Hope, “a non-profit organization that mobilizes professional artists – from classical musicians to photographers to Broadway performers – in volunteer service programs that benefit schools, hospitals, and communities.”
HERE you can view a clickable map with all the locations of each piano and view a picture of it, as well as go to an individual page for each piano and learn more about the artwork theme, the artist and get directions to each location via subway. Plus, all day long people are encouraged to upload photos or video of themselves with the pianos and that media gets put on the piano’s individual page so you can see the specific piano in action.
For a friend of mine, who just recently moved to the city… this piano is down by where you’ll be today! (And played quite well here might I add.)
Well, enough with laying out every single detail… part of the fun of Make Music New York is to go out and find things yourself; whether planned or strictly by chance. So go and don’t burn anymore daylight!!