The Köln Concert

Last night I meditated. Well, quasi-meditated. I laid in bed, headphones on, closed my eyes, and listened to Keith Jarrett’s “Köln, January 24, 1975, Pt. I (Live)” track of the Köln Concert.

It’s 25 minutes long so, allow yourself enough time to sit and listen. My favorite part is when he kicks into a beautiful progression around the 7:20 mark.

There’s a whole story behind this concert. Mr. Jarrett was provided the wrong piano and had originally refused to play. He ultimately did, and because of this, we received this amazing piece of classical music.

I learned about this backstory, a while back, from a Hidden Brain podcast talking about “embracing chaos”.

I first listened to the Köln Concert in 1997, when I took a music appreciation course in college. The professor, Prof Song (yes, his real last name) gave me a list of pieces to listen to after he and I had a lengthy discussion about classical pieces.

Hearing it, without knowing the backstory, I always appreciated the creativity behind it. It feels like a great pianist in their own home, feeling out and practicing a piece that they want to refine and play.

It wasn’t until August of 2017 when, upon hearing the backstory on Hidden Brain, I purchased the album and listened to it again.

It’s a wonderful concert. It is genius artistry. And it’s so very apt to use as an example of “embracing chaos” and “releasing creativity” through frustration (as the below TED talk describes).

For 25 minutes, last night, it calmed me. Sure, it could have been actually stopping down, not looking at a screen, and listening to music. This piece is important and has helped me begin to form my approach to 2019.

If you’re interested in hearing more, here’s a TED Talk on the concert as well.

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