Re: Channeling the Rage (was somethin' else)

From: "Chris Michalek" <chris@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
> I've given alot of thought to "the zone"  many think of it as a state  of
bliss etc... but for me, there is too much energy going >on for it to be
blissful and happy.

Hmm, I can never get there ,( really, really in the zone) without feeling
bliss.  Anything less than bliss is a deal killer for me.  In my world bliss
equals perfection without effort. The faintest hint of conscious thought
brings on critical thinking, which leads to effort, trying too hard, etc..

I think it boils down to how often you can get out of your own way and just
let the music flow.  If it were easy we'd all be great.  I've read tons of
books on the subject and really haven't found the answer yet.  Werner's book
was good, but, like all the others I read, the effect was temporary. You
have to find your own way there, and I've found getting there is very

There's been some recent research on the subject which looks  promising.....

"The system, called 'neurofeedback', trains musicians to clear their mind in
a way that increases levels of certain brain waves. Those that mastered the
technique were found in research published in the Journal Neuroreport, to
have dramatically improved their playing ability.

The scope of Ludwig Van Beethoven music marks him out as one of the most
gifted composers' of our time. But does a great musician have a certain kind
of mind that enables them to tap effortlessly into the soul and express
their feelings so eloquently?

Researchers at Imperial College are analysing one aspect of creativity - and
believe they've found a way of boosting it. Cassie Yuwaka is one of the
country's leading pianists who has tried out the technique. The procedure
involves her trying to empty her mind - and increase levels of a type of
brainwave called theta waves. These are thought to be associated with
creativity. She's connected to a computer which monitors her theta wave
activity. Every time her theta waves increase she's rewarded with the sound
of waves and gentle gongs, so the system effectively guides her into a state
of theta wave bliss.

The idea is to train her to achieve this state whilst performing. And Cassie
says it's a real help. She says it's made her more expressive and she finds
it easier to interpret music. And it's had the same impact on many other
student musicians at the Royal College of Music who've tried this technique.
On average their musical playing test scores increased by 17 % and some
improved by as much as 50 %. The Royal College is so impressed by the
results, it's now offering the technique as part of the curriculum. And its
not just musicians who could benefit. Ballet dancers are the next group of
artists that'll try out the technique.

But does Professor Gruzellier of Imperial College, who developed the
application of this technique, have any concerns about 'reprogramming' the
brain? Could it be misused like the tranquilizing drug, Soma that Aldous
Huxley predicted in the novel 'Brave New World'? He says not. He claims it
trains people to be calm. And after hearing the results of his guinea-pigs,
he even tried the technique himself - and said afterwards he "felt like a
million dollars". He even thinks it's improved his lecturing skills. It's
too soon to tell whether the researchers have found a way of opening the
door to creativity. But if they have, many more of us could benefit.

Interesting note, heroine, think Coltrane, and marijuana, think Little
Walter, are both known to increase theta waves.


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