Monday, July 1, 2013

the many faces of music

Lou Volpe Trio at Stuyvesant Yacht Club (City Island, Bx., NY)

Sex faces, stroke faces, dancing faces and then there are music faces. Check out the link above for some jazz/blues faces. Here's my question: can you do any one of these faces with no stimulus at all?

It seems that for many of our faces, music is both motivator and catalyst. For some, the faces they put on are unknown to them unless they see a photograph of themselves. A famous actor used to video himself when drunk so that he could duplicate his looks and body language when acting a part that depicted drunkenness.

Some cameras have something called "face detection" which allows for the auto-focus mechanism to be triggered when it detects a face and the even more sophisticated pick up on smiles! But how does one capture emotions while photographing? I have to admit, many times it's just luck or take a lot of shots in rapid bursts and hope to get at least one good one.

Just look at the above face (Lou Volpe). What do you see? Is he in love with his music? Has the music captured him in a state  of ecstasy? Is he even thinking? What's going on here?

Well, my answer is that you are viewing something that the famous philosopher William James in his book, "The Varieties of Religious Experience" would describe as an ineffable, noetic experience. The orgiastic facial expression is ubiquitous with many forms of music.

Are we the face(s) of music or is music an extension of our souls?

I'll let you decide.

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