Parisians and Tourists Pay it by Ear at Paris Music Festival

Created: 2013-06-22 15:58 EST

Category: World > Europe

Several dozen customised pianos were installed on the banks of the river Seine at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower on Friday for music lovers to try their hands at rocking a tune, as Paris celebrated its traditional 'Fete de la Musique'.

The music festival, held on the first day of summer each year, brings scores of musicians wishing to showcase their talent to the streets of the French capital.

The 'Play Me, I'm Yours' initiative, created by British musician Luke Jerram in 2008, allows professionals and amateurs alike to serenade music enthusiasts and tourists.

[Eric Pacheco, Event Organiser]:
"It's really to make the instrument accessible—an instrument that is unique, personalized and revisited, to the many thousands of piano lovers who don't necessarily have instruments at home, or are not used to playing in public."

Pianist Steve Villa Massone said he believed music was best played and experienced in the streets.

[Steve Villa Massone, Pianist]:
"Music is happiness, pleasure, love, and for me the best place to feel that, to know that feeling is the street. Because there are no restrictions, you don't have to justify yourself to anyone, so you can really play with the feeling, the joy of playing. That is why I think I will play all my life in the street, so as not lose that feeling of happiness and freedom."

Tourists from across the globe were impressed.

[Antonia, American Tourist]:
"I think it's very important, I took piano as a child, and my husband plays piano. We firmly believe in music education, in music around you. It just enhances the beauty of the city, in everything, to hear music, so it's good."

The Fete de la Musique usually lasts well into the night, with music lovers grooving to tunes ranging from jazz to rock and roll.

Tags: paris  france  tourists  music  festival  piano  eiffel tower