By Stephen Wilson

Grammy-nominated improvisational jazz performer Gary Hassay visited the Williams Visual Arts Building and played for students in Ed Kerns’ painting class. The 90-minute nonstop set was designed to help the students “find ways to understand themselves as instruments of perception” according to Kerns. “Artists live shamelessly, not held by conventions,” says Kerns. “Gary is shamelessly himself, creating sounds and rhythms of the universe that flow.”

Flow is a phenomenon described by the research of Luis Schettino, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience. In his recent Brooklyn Rail article, he says, “During the Flow state, creators lose sense of time and self and immerse themselves in their practice for hours at a time, playfully combining learned and novel elements in a focused exploration of the boundaries of their craft.”

Kerns wished for students to create compositional works that could visualize sound and movement. “When students become instruments as artists, the authority rests with their process,  not the conventions, tools, or subject,” he says. “They can experience synthetic thinking by making creative leaps, seeing larger patterns, and developing their sensory systems.”

Here are some photos from the classroom session:

Categorized in: Academic News, Art, Faculty and Staff, Featured News, Innovative Teaching and Learning, Interdisciplinary, Music, Neuroscience, News and Features, Psychology, The Arts
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1 Comment

  1. Jennifer McKeever says:

    Love the possibilities with such an interaction…as a performing artist/dancer… music that is moving makes sense…a challenge to the perfunctory boundaries is always a blessing to go deeper into ourselves to grasp the untouched universe that pours out meaning and expression with an individual interpretation that is necessary to establish a new view, perspective and meaning to a message that one will hear and witness in their own depth…and thus an understanding, a notion of a higher consciousness of ourselves and the messenger.

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