Thursday, July 22, 2004

Guitar Face

Looks like there's a contest to see who can make the best "guitar face." This article made me think about my "piano face," my "percussion face," and my "singing face," which are all quite different. When singing, the face you make is very functional, as it greatly affects the sound that you make. It's perhaps part of why a chorus rehearsal usually manages to cheer me up after a rough day; you have to keep a smiling, bright look on your face to maintain a good sound (this is an oversimplification, but for most choral music I think it applies). When playing the piano, it was easy to get very absorbed in the music, and I had a (probably bad) habit of rocking my upper body at more emotional parts of a piece. I think my face basically registered the emotions I was feeling, but I can't remember doing any facial expression consciously. Orchestral percussion requires a type of concentration different from the piano, since you're trying to stay together with many different musicians and your entrances need to be very precise. In all the pictures I've seen of me playing percussion, I've always had a dead serious expression on my face, probably reflecting my efforts to focus and play as precisely as possible. I wonder if there are other classes of instrument faces fundamentally different from the ones I've described.
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