A Journey into Free-Flow Piano Play

Daily free flow piano

I feel it’s time to unpack the essence and significance of free-flow piano play within my creative journey.

While this principle applies to any instrument and to some degree to singing and humming, my emphasis is on the piano, the instrument I met.

I can recall my curiosity around free-flow piano play stemming back to when I was about four years old. This was marked by an unexplained allure towards piano keys whenever I saw them. I placed my hands on a piano for the first time when I was around 14 years old and didn’t see the necessity of learning notes. Then, I played the piano for the first time when I was approximately 25 years old.

There was no inclination towards learning notes, playing established songs, or attempting any classical or otherwise piano compositions. They all seemed irrelevant to the question of free-flow play.

I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but what I did know was my desire to experience the beauty of music, born of originality and fresh beginnings. Anything extra just didn’t seem pertinent.

Then the questions raised:

  • am I merely shunning the hard work?
  • Is it genuinely possible to unleash creativity without a solid foundation in the basics?

These questions, primarily coming from outside, did resonate with me, in the sense that I heard them and was open to consideration.

However, the idea of accumulating knowledge through skills, repetition, and training did not provide any satisfaction, regardless of how much I mulled it over.

After many years of not playing, around the age of 40, I had my own piano in my own space.

Pressing a piano key and truly listening to the sound for the first time brought everything into clarity.

Free-flow piano play isn’t about the movement of fingers or any act of intent.

It’s the art of listening, the ability to resonate with the frequency of the sound to such a degree that it supersedes any willful movement.

The sound carries its own will, color, and path of unfolding.

It’s similar to a droplet falling into a lake. It creates its own ripples, but it is no longer just a droplet, it is part of the lake. Being the sound can only occur if the listening is free. I suppose it was the internal realization that this was possible which ultimately dispelled my doubts.

Since then, when I sit at the piano, it is the act of listening that plays. To make this clear, only when I hear the first sound can there be the possibility of the next. As soon as a sequence begins to make sense, it is disrupted. The moment harmony starts to form, a mistake is deliberately introduced to ensure that the play continues to flow.

Attempting to describe this deep experience to someone who has not experienced it themselves is futile.

Watching people practice an instrument by accumulating knowledge and replicating tunes that were previously played, or even worse, encouraging their young children to do the same, is, to me, deeply disturbing. They are unaware of what they are doing. It is as though they are ensuring that the wellspring of authentic musical creativity will never flow.

The structure of knowledge and the experience of playing something that was played before in a manner that abides by certain rules is genuinely disturbing for the potential emergence of something fresh. To me, this is not a matter for argument, but a fact.

once you, not someone else, encounter free-flow in piano play, nothing else will seem precious when you sit at the piano, other than allowing this incredibly delicate moment to present itself by its own will.

I will end here, but this is certainly an invitation to explore further.

Creative Threads

Free Creative Flow (FCF)

It’s about You

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