The Yellow Piano Installation uses music to pay tribute to hostages in Washington Square Park

Kemberly Richardson Image
Sunday, January 14, 2024
Yellow piano installed in Washington Square Park pays tribute to hostages
Kemberly Richardson has the story.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- It's often said when words fail, music speaks, which is precisely what is happening with a new music installation in Washington Square Park.

"They come toward the music and then they see the sign about hostages and I think it kind of softens them," Dekel Hamatian said.

Strangers are captivated by the Yellow Piano Installation, a worldwide effort to highlight the fact that Hamas is still holding more than 100 people hostage, including accomplished musician Alon Ohel.

Hamatian is a family friend of Ohel's.

"Everything that happened on Oct. 7 just destroyed our souls," Hamatian said.

That day, Ohel was at the music festival in Southern Israel. The installation is a way to pay tribute to the 22-year-old and others who are not with their families.

The public is encouraged to play. There are other yellow pianos around the world, including one in Tel Aviv and another in Berlin.

"It breaks down the walls, I think just finding that connection point between people and seeing other people have tears in their eyes," said Zoe, who stopped to listen and hear people play. She just got back from volunteering in Israel, where she was cooking meals for soldiers.

Organizers say until each hostage is released, they will put up more pianos.

"When Alon is out, I will put this piano here for him to play. The next time we'll do this interview - we'll be with Alon playing the piano," Hamatian said.

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Relatives of the woman rushed to the scene and were overcome with grief.


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