Kallor's music videos are "a visual feast for the eyes," writes Feast of Music: "Espresso Nirvana" (think caffeinated hijinks) and "Broken Sentences," which features the 88 artist-designed pianos that Sing For Hope placed in parks and public spaces all around NYC from June 1-15, 2013, where anyone could play them. Gregg did. A lot.
88 pianos. 5 boroughs. 1 crazy idea.
Alan McIntyre Smith called me and said, "I’ve got an idea." The last time he said that I ended up over-caffeinated and humbled by a sassy brunette in a piano shop. (Our first music video collaboration was "Espresso Nirvana" - think caffeinated hijinks.) I was excited to hear what he had in mind.
Alan reminded me that the Sing For Hope Pianos program was two weeks away, and he thought it would make for a stunning new music video to complement my New York City-inspired piano suite, A Single Noon. We chose "Broken Sentences" - the second movement - which evokes the buzzing, exuberant energy of this incredible city, and ran around the five boroughs chasing pianos.
Nobody seemed particularly surprised to find a richly decorated piano sitting next to a park bench or a food truck, on the boardwalk at Coney Island or in the middle of Times Square (New Yorkers take most things in stride). Some passersby played for impromptu audiences of onlookers, others retreated into an inner world of creative pleasure, heedless of their surroundings, and many first-time pianists curiously tested a few keys for the joy of connecting with a musical instrument and making a sound.
NYC attracts probably the greatest concentration of world-class musicians and artists to its clubs and concert halls, but what a thrill it was to watch people in one neighborhood after another stop and play a piano for a few minutes on their way to work or school or the grocery store. Clearly, the arts are a vital part of everyone's daily life. That’s something to celebrate.
I'm so excited about this new visual component to my music - it's inspiring to collaborate with such a brilliant filmmaker, and Alan and I are grateful to the artists who volunteered their time and imaginative craft to make the Sing For Hope Pianos one of the most exciting public arts programs in NYC. We’re proud to be Sing For Hope artists.
-Gregg Kallor, 2013