Experiencing Flow in Jazz Performance by Elina Hytönen-Ng

By Elina Hytönen-Ng

The time period 'flow' refers to reviews the place the musician strikes right into a attention during which time appears to be like suspended and belief of fact is blurred by way of subconscious forces. a vital a part of the jazz culture, which frequently serves because the beginning of the musician's identification, movement is recognized in the better jazz neighborhood as a serious consider entire musicianship. move as an idea is so deeply embedded within the scene that those studies should not quite often mentioned. It contributes to the musicians' paintings motivation, offering an important point of delight and accomplishment. the ability of the event, consciously or unconsciously, has given upward push to the construction of heroic photographs, during which jazz musicians are visible as being daring, but susceptible, robust and masculine, yet nonetheless in a position to expressing feelings. during this discourse, musicians are pictured as humans consistently placing themselves at the line, exposing themselves and their hearts to each other in addition to to the viewers. Heroic profiles are richly developed in the jazz scene, and their incorporation into narratives of move means that such pictures are inseparable from jazz. it truly is hence uncertain how a ways the musicians are easily reporting own adventure rather than unconsciously perpetuating a profoundly internalised mythology. Drawing on eighteen interviews performed with specialist jazz musicians from world wide, Elina Hytonen examines the basics of the phenomenon of circulation in jazz that has resulted in this genre's attractiveness. in addition, she attracts on how circulate reports are considered and developed by way of jazz musicians, the meanings they connect to it, and the standard of track that it conjures up.

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Some respondents described it as ‘rapture’, ‘euphoria’ or a ‘state of ecstasy’. These feelings were something the musicians were repeatedly seeking: it was the core of flow, and they wanted to attain it as often as possible. They were sometimes described as addictive, turning the musician into a junkie looking for a musical fix. They were 22 Experiencing ‘Flow’ in Jazz Performance also described in sexual terms and compared to orgasm. These positive feelings were described by one respondent: Elliott Henshaw: Musicians, real musicians, are emotional people.

One musician made the link implicitly, observing similar trajectories in musical flow and love-making: ‘everything suddenly clicks into place and you’re not thinking about anything at all’. You are just ‘enjoying it’. These comments illustrate the strong sense of physical release during flow. The physiological changes that take place during flow included trembling and rapid heart beat. One of the respondents declared that the only thing comparable was having sex. Flow and sex were both ‘amazing’ experiences.

1 Love, with its associations of physical and emotional commitment, is especially strong as a way of characterising a musician’s connection to music. This comment suggests that serious commitment will make flow more probable. The interviewee also noted a distinction between musicians, in both attitudes and objectives. com/live/>. 30 Experiencing ‘Flow’ in Jazz Performance flow by playing music they loved. This distinction was widely agreed upon and mentioned by several other respondents. Other respondents mentioned that flow is really an emotional thing and that some people’s emotions are greatly affected when they play.

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