playing from nothing
The concept of playing from nothing, often associated with "Zen piano," revolves around the idea of spontaneous musical creation, deriving directly from the artist's current emotions and meditative state. This style is characterized by a profound sense of immediacy and presence, with the musician engaging directly with the instrument in a deeply personal and unpremeditated conversation.
Keith Jarrett, an American pianist known for his improvisational prowess, is one of the most notable figures in this realm. His performances often start with no predetermined theme or structure; instead, he allows his feelings and the ambiance of the room to guide the flow and form of the music. This process is akin to a musical meditation, where the player becomes a conduit for the direct expression of the moment's essence.
This approach to music is deeply rooted in the philosophy of Zen, which emphasizes being fully present and connected with one's current activity. In "Zen piano," the player isn't just playing notes but is rather expressing the here and now through every touch of the keys. The resulting music is often unique and unrepeatable, a one-of-a-kind expression of the moment's emotional and spiritual landscape. It's a pure form of artistic expression, free from the constraints of pre-composed material and traditional structure, aiming to connect the performer and listener in a shared, intimate experience of the present.