Thursday, November 29, 2012

What's Happening to Affect?

Do I imagine it or have the faces of the Facebook generation become faceless, except on-line?

Of the many young families I see every day, in my elevator, on the street, here and there, very few engage their faces in conversations with their young children, or with each other. The eyes do not light up; the muscles around the mouth that might turn some tissue up or down, depending, seem inert, unused.

Affect is the root of so much music.  Think of it as taste, not the kind associated with esthetic experience, but associated with carrots or chocolate.  Yum or yuck--it's as simple as that.

At the outset of a Tonal Refraction working arrangement of three sessions I ask whether the individual has a favorite note.  I wish I had a collection of photos of the answering blank looks.   A bit of prodding is usually all that is required to unearth deep emotion associated sometimes with a note, like G; sometimes with a note in a specific composition, like the first G-sharp in Chopin's E-minor Piano Concerto; and sometimes with a note played on a specific instrument by a specific person.  For one it was E-flat, the key of a hymn her grandmother used to play on the piano; for another, E on the D string of his first full-sized violin.