Street piano: Resonating with the warm and gentle city

Street piano: Resonating with the warm and gentle city

BEIJING, June 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A news report from on China’s public cultural facilities:

On a crowded street, the beautiful melody of “Für Elise” floating in the air led people to a man with a safety helmet on by the piano. His coworkers and the passers-by showered him with applause.

The piano player is a construction worker named Yi Qunlin, nicked named Laoyi. He is a temporary laborer at a construction site together with his son. One day, Laoyi and his son passed by the subway station and saw this public piano. His son who knew Laoyi is a piano player encouraged his father to try it out.

In the video, Laoyi seemed a bit awkward at first, rubbing his hands nervously on his clothes, but the moment his fingers touched the keys, confidence seemed to have found its way back in him. “It’s like chatting with an old friend. When I played a note, the piano would echo my every move.” He said so when he was interviewed.

Laoyi is not the only player on this public piano, as there are also decor workers, retired teachers, senior-year students, and young people on their way back from work… Some say they don’t have a piano at home, so they come here to play; some say they could play “freely” and “without constrain” here. And there is also one lady saying she could “contribute what she has left” by playing here.

Later, Laoyi was invited to play as the very first performer on the stage of the Cultural and Art Center of Guangming District in Shenzhen, a place that he once helped construct. Even on a formal stage, Laoyi still wore his helmet, playing over a dozen songs with his calloused hands.

When these white and black piano keys, whether on the stage or on the street, are played by people of various occupations, ages or identities, the city lights up with vibrance. Every note dancing in the air stands for an ordinary person’s pursuit of music, the persistence for their dreams and their hope for a better life. Those symphonies that reverberate on the streets also capture a positive and free attitude towards life, as well as the warmth and tenderness of the city.

Besides the public piano, more public cultural facilities have appeared in China’s cities and rural areas, like public museums, libraries and galleries. Those once expensive forms of art have crept into the lives of the general public, allowing them to bathe in the sea of art, glittered by the joy of their dreams.

The city, lit up by the twinkling dreams of ordinary citizens, is embracing everyone from all walks of life with its warmth.

Let us enjoy the beautiful chords played by an ordinary person with a safety helmet and calloused hands on a public piano.

China Mosaic 

Street piano: Resonating with the warm and gentle city


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