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Hot air balloons pipe music to waking Londoners

People living in London might have recently been woken up by the sounds of classical music playing from the skies as part of an experimental project by a UK artist.
Luke Jerram’s Sky Orchestra took to the capital last month, which saw seven balloons rise up into the skies in quick succession to a height of around 500 feet, each playing out a different element of the musical score.
Designed to be heard and seen from ground level, the music was composed by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award-winning British musician Dan Jones and aimed to provide a gentle wake-up call across London or lullaby on evening flights.
The point of the project? While it is the brainchild of UK artist Jerram, it also marked the start of the countdown to the London 2012 Olympics and was made possible by London mayor Boris Johnson and the London International Festival of Theatre.
Explaining the concept behind his installation, Jerram said: “A form of acoustic urban art, Sky Orchestra questions the boundaries of public artwork, private space and the ownership of the sky.
“The aim is to lift the sleeping public into a space on the edge of sleep, and to inspire their imaginations through sound. Each balloon plays a different element of the musical score creating a massive audio landscape.
“Like whales calling in the ocean, the same sounds may be heard in succession passing from one balloon to another across the sky.”
This is not the only musical art project Jerram has created. He has been lauded for his street piano installation Play Me, I’m Yours, which has now positioned over 400 pianos in cities across the world including New York and Sydney.
It invites any member of the public to play at the instrument and take ownership of their urban environment, and many of the pianos have been decorated by artists or the local community.

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