Saturday, January 29, 2011

Music and Emotions.

Today I'm going to shamelessly upload a video I first encountered on another blog about people of the Psychopathy spectrum:


Today's blog is about emotions.

People have asked me why I do not consider myself a Psychopath, even as I've been diagnosed as such and by clinical psychiatrists in relation to a criminal investigation at that.
When I listen to music I too can almost forget things around me, and it doesn't really matter what the lyrics are about, the 'emotions' I feel - if that's truly what they are - are triggered by the sound itself.

There's more to it though. I do have the choice of taking a more intellectual approach to music, which I do sometimes. But 'letting myself hang loose', giving it all in to displaying the emotions I contract from the audio qualities in the music is such a joy.
I think it's almost like what I do when I take on a certain 'role' with my surroundings, but with music I don't need to have the outwards directed alertness to the reactions I receive ... the alertness I always engage in order to aptly attune small discrepancies in my performance ... that alertness is completely gone when I listen to music, and that's what I mean by 'letting it all hand loose' and just giving myself completely in to 'being' or 'feeling' whatever it is the music entails.
If someone asks me to describe the feelings I am "mediating" through music when I 'let it all hang loose', I can't give an answer. I am incapable of describing the emotions of f.ex. the video I've uploaded in today's article.
I wonder, is that how we imagine psychopaths?... As deeply emotionally involved when listening to music?
Is my description about my own relationship with music the descriptions of a psychopath?

The following excerpt of the preparing of an interview article with a reader gives an idea of what it is I am getting at.

P: I was diagnosed with psychopathy when I was 19 and again when I was 21, and people have always thought I was psychopathic and dangerous and all that kind of thing. Sure, I have done a variety of crimes, had very early signs of conduct disorder, have been in prison for murder, bank robbery, breaking and entry, theft, forgery, and so on. But I've never seen myself as a psychopath, not at all. I always felt - and feel - that others just don't understand me.
In my eyes it is the normal people who are cold and unfeeling, not me! For example, when I was a kid, in grade, there was a feature in our school where they'd show movies every Saturday. I loved watching those movies, they were children's movies kind of like the 'Flipper' or 'Lassie', and I would become so involved I'd actually cry when one of the main characters, usually an animal, was about to die. Those movies really got to me. But the other kids would then tease me when the lights were turned on so they could see I'd been crying. - After that day I vowed to never cry in public again, and I never did. Now, or since then, I only cry when I get really angry and there's nothing I can do about a situation. It's the only time I cry.
But there's another kind of emotions that I feel very strongly ... and, in my eyes, stronger than most normal people, except for the artists themselves ... and that's when I listen to music.
I saw your (Zhawq's) comment at Sociopath World the day the video 'The Thrill is Gone', with B.B. King and Tracy Chapman, was posted which is why I wrote you, for I think maybe you understand what I'm talking about... You know, it's like ... when I listen to music like that, I forget everything around me, and I really almost do get to the point where I almost start crying. It's so beautiful!, even if it's sad, or about love ... that weird emotional thing the normal people always talk about, but which I never experience, so it just seems like it's not real, like it's ... what's the word you used...?

Zhawq: A Postulate...

P: Yeah, a Postulate, that's it. It's like a postulate, not real. But I think that when I listen to music, love may be what I feel, actually... I'm not sure. But I most definitely DO feel, I feel a LOT! And with music I can almost get into a state of ecstasy! ... How many normal people can claim they feel THAT!?


Anonymous said...

I enjoy the intellectual aspect of music. I think it can be incredibly intersting to descipher what it was that went on in the composer's mind.

Mozart, f.ex, I've read a book by a modern classical musical director who also works at a musical faculty teaching about music. He is an expert on Mozart.

It was quite interesting to read his descriptions about how each passage, and each node, each use of a specific instrument, group of instruments, etc., could be translated into a story with actual people and the emotions they went through according to the story line.

When I listen to music I don't get any feelings of ecstasy. It always puzzled me when I was a kid when I watched Louis Armstrong, f.ex., on TV and saw how he just had this enourmous bright smile.

I thought "Why is he smiling? This music isn't funny!" Lol.

I prefer classical music and some modern Jazz. Musical scores are usually too vague, but can be great too.

Popular music leaves me absolutely cold. There's nothing to explore, they say it all within the first 10 seconds, and it's so banal, I think it's amazing how anybody can buy it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous sounds a lot like Zhawq :P Writing pattern-wise, at least.

With some pieces of music, I do feel things, maybe emotions, that I never do outside of it. With movies and TV, you get the whole experience. The musical score, the precise shot editing, the meaningful, piercing writing. Sometimes I too "get into it".

Yet this doesn't happen in "real life". Odd how that works, isn't it?

Zhawq said...

I'll refrain from accusing or speculating about whether a reader mimics me or not.

"Yet this doesn't happen in "real life". Odd how that works, isn't it?"

Yeah, can't argue with that. We unconsciously learn and adopt from each other all the time. I've seen this even with the most original ingenious people around.

I've known a few of these 'celebrities' on a private basis. 'A Few' is not many, granted, but I still think it says something.

MrBlake said...

Notable is right. He does write like Zhawq which is hilarious - I think I should write like you, Zhawq - for real. Whatcha say we mess a bit with writin' styles eh? ;)

All that aside I'm pretty much with you. But rock'n roll styles can get me kinda going okay. It's about finding that rythm and move with it. You'll find everybody have a mutual motion cycle and if you let yourself go with it - man that's hard to put into words - you can get an illusion of everything being in motion. And that's a special feeling.

It's not ecstasy though. Not sure what they mean with Ecstasy from listening to music, or any sound for that matter.