Sitting in my favourite chair in my favourite gallery in my favourite city in the world: Berlin. Yes I know most people opt for New York as their number one but there is an edge in this once divided city, which gets me all excited.
This trip has been a life changer. I spent one week of holiday here to bathe in the immense cultural offerings as a much-needed creative injection. I got much more than I expected. What would have been stimulus for new projects turned out to be a creative turnaround for me.
Art, ballet, cabaret, symphony and jazz concerts filled my week but the highlight came when I attended a concert by vocalist Bobby McFerrin and jazz piano legend Chick Corea. It was just a duo performance in the famous Berliner Philharmonie hall where a week before I heard the Berliner Philharmoniker perform. This legendary venue has seen some of the biggest names in classic and jazz music history and I was super exited to see these two stars in action for the first time.
The concert started very relaxed, spontaneous and with a level of creativity that immediately transported me into another world where no fear, noise or sadness existed. Midway through the concert Chick Corea asked if there was any pianist in the house who wanted to come up on stage and improvise with him. With jam nights or volunteering to play “for fun” I always decline. This time I did not. I shot up like an arrow and 20 seconds later shook the hands of these two inspiring men and took my first bow on the stage of the Philharmonie. Exhilarating without even playing a note yet.
Bobby McFerrin commented on my beautiful shirt and I sat down at the Yahama concert grand. Chick came and sat next to me and he instructed me to start. The next 5 minutes became a haze of thoughts, emotions, sounds and testing responsiveness and improvisational abilities to the maximum. I remember starting in E minor – not a particular key I even prefer and I remember the 2250 strong audience cheering like crazy at some point. And then all of a sudden it was over. I shook hands again and took a slow bow thinking ‘how is this possible?!’
Yes I am lucky and sure the planets aligned in a way which made it possible to play with a jazz legend on one of the world’s most sought after stages. For me was and will remain so much more. In the next chapter of my life the evidence of this life changing moment (of which I have no recording or photo) will hopefully be quite apparent.