Friday, October 9, 2009

Enhanced Awareness

Using the phrase "ESP" triggers a range of reactions, so provisionally I'm going to use the phrase "enhanced awareness" through the four Jungian categories (of thinking, feeling, intuition and sensation) as a way to talk about whatever it is that can happen when making music. Here's a use of the phrase in a comment to Bruce Hembd's post "What makes a great performance?"

>>Bruce – Not being a high level player such as yourself and those who frequent this site, these points come from way back in the peanut gallery.

I prefer “Musicality” (from Jonathan West) and “Technique” – each being necessary but neither being sufficient for great performances.

“Talent” is sort of a vexed word for those of us not on a high level. It suggests either/or and that if you don’t have it, don’t even try. Saying someone is more or less a “natural” player allows for the possibility of achievement for all.

As to title of your post, I think the notion of “flow” (thanks for the link in suggested reading) or being “in the zone” comes into play. In a really great performance, my notion is that individual players, the ensemble as a whole, and the performers and the audience all enter into a kind of shared flow state – that all (or most) are to some degree in a state of enhanced awareness where the experience is one that is shared amongst all and the greater the performance, the greater the communion.<<

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