IMBERTY SEMINARY 09/05/2016
Thursday, May 5, 2016
Emeritus Professor at the University of Paris West - Nanterre - La Défense
When the body is the setting for the spirit
(Music, musicality and intersubjective communication)
We know today that music is basically an activity registered in the genetic heritage of the human species. This means that the skills it requires develop with life and mark its most important aspects. Music develops in the very effort of human beings to communicate with each other in telling and building, exchanging and improvising the story of their experiences and their lives. Music is therefore the very essence of expression, expression of emotions, feelings, individual or collective, and this natural and spontaneous expression begins much earlier than verbal language, anchored in the body and body movements in human space and time. From birth, and probably a few months earlier, the baby thinks, acts and tries in a universe that perceives intentional, temporal and dramatic to the highest degree. The human voice plays a primordial role which lays the foundations for this inner temporal organization, as it lays the foundations for the temporal organization of music.
The most important aspect of this temporal organization is its "narrative" or "proto-narrative" character. This means that our brain needs to put in order the events contained in subjective time in an oriented way and in the form of memorized sequences with a "beginning" and an "end". The most usual way to communicate with our congeners is to tell stories to them and to hear the stories they tell us. But I would like to add here the idea that this narrative organization of human time works in the lived experience, in the interactions and exchanges between people only if the guideline of the story (or proto-story) is a scenography, dramatized by the body, from his gestures, from his attitudes, from his physical as well as psychic intentions. Our spirit is so more creative and communicative that the body embodies it and in a certain way represents it (in the theatrical sense of the word).
Music and storytelling have in common this organization of the progression of time, this form of time that does not tell, but dramatizes, sets for the other or for himself, gives meaning, direction and intentionality that blows life in structures of code syntax, while maintaining uncertainties, new developments, breaks: duration, flow velocity, temporal profile determined by accents and intensity parameters, density of sound events in duration are tested by the listener in a direct, sensitive way, without mediation of language or social and cultural codes that can be added.
The story is structured in language, drama in the music of language and in body music. The wrapping of drama is the embodied, embodied manifestation of the intentionality of our acts and our behaviors, it is together a placement in order of events, feelings and sensations in time, placement in order that is that of proto-narrativity , and a scenography of these contents without which they themselves cannot be grasped in their continuity and relevance, and cannot be shared in intersubjective and social communication.
Monday 9 May 2016 from 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm
Room 12 - Faculty of Medicine and Psychology, "Sapienza", University of Rome
Via dei Marsi, 78