ZEN Music Album
- A unique recording event, with all keyboards "blindfolded," made for a highly memorable album that is truly ZEN, and not in name only.
The ZEN album by Kenton Knepper is also known as The Zen Project and The Zen Experiment due to the way the album was created. Here is what Kenton has to say about this incredibly unique and seemingly impossible to create album:
Everything was played and recorded impromptu, and in the moment. Nothing except for Zentheme was written in advance. Tracks with multi-tracked layers used the same approach. No additional tracks were written. Each new instrument and layer was played impromptu. This made creating the ZEN album an entirely in the moment experience. Each piano layer had to be played and recorded in real time with the unwritten tracks laid down before them.
There is another thing that made all of the material entirely ZEN. The piano keys were covered with a cloth so that the keys could not be seen or known. The entire album, every track and every cut, was done with the piano blindfolded. I had no choice but to play by feel. Truly "use the Force" to borrow a phrase from Star Wars.
So the ZEN experiment was all about playing for real, in the moment, without stopping, without practice, without conscious planning, without knowing consciously what was going to happen, when or how, and without knowing what the notes would be, or even what the keys were making the notes. I didn't just play without seeing the notes. I was positioned so I could not know what any of the notes were. Period.
I didn’t want to give mere lip service to the idea of creating an album of music and slapping a label on it, calling it “Zen.” I wanted the music to live Zen. By taking these radical approaches, the music carries with it many aspects of uncertainty, but also a deeper knowingness and ultimate resolve. This is meditational music because the music was created as a meditational exercise.
For years I have been playing Tibetan Bells and Bowls this way, and I grew up playing atmospheric music on the piano since childhood in a similar fashion. Only now has it all come together to create an energy listeners can truly sense.
Like real life, flaws and mistakes may be discerned, but ultimate adjustment and redemption wins out in the end.
There are no fancy graphics in this album because, well, everything was done blindfolded. There is an additional PDF however that also describes Kenton's process for the album, to share with those who want to know more about the music.
ZEN is the album that contains the ZEN THEME which many are familiar with due to Kenton Knepper's playing this piece on a blindfolded piano (his trademark idea) in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Arizona, etc. (SEE VIDEO).
Mind Reading and Blindfolded Piano
01 Zenalone (4.97 MB)
02 Zenafter (8.78 MB)
03 ZenMindandEmotions (12.33 MB)
04 Zenrain (7.45 MB)
05 Zenstorm (7.34 MB)
06 Zentheme (8.28 MB)
07 Zenvoice (8.68 MB)
ZENnotes (551 KB)
|Tags||vegas, music, Kenton, blindfolded, now, Knepper, blindfolded piano, moment, album, zen, piano|
|Media Type||Digital Lesson|