play observation report

play observation report - Recreation 220 Universality of...

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Recreation 220 – Universality of Play Joseph Angel-Field February 28, 2008 Professor Jan Hedges
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On many an afternoon, it is not unusual to find 6 college age males gathering in a garage in Los Alamitos to engage in their favorite kind of play. There is little doubt that what they are doing is leisurely, they are doing what they most want to, something that is pleasurable and enriching to each individual, and in a certain communal way. True, ask my friends and I, and we’ll say that we are a band striving for more structure and external attention, but on any given session just sitting down with our instruments, our free- formed fun-loving jamming style is both a very intrinsic and animalistic form of play, as well as an abstract and radically human form of play expression. Apes and other animals have shown signs that point towards musicality, and at times one may find themselves with a stick in their hand, drumming upon whatever lies nearest around and makes a noise. From the definitions that we are establishing in our class, the creative self- expressive aspect is the most playful element of the band’s jam sessions. Every member draws from their depths something that might be only explained in the realm of music, or even something that points to the depths of the soul. When we are jamming, there is no reason to stop until we get tired, and even then we can just change gears and make our sound softer and easier. No one hesitates to dance, use their voice, explore their instrument, explore another’s instrument, and nothing is required of participants beyond an absorbing love of music, that delivers the musician into a free-space of musical abandon, not reckless, but rewarding. It is hard to separate at any given time whether one fits better into Spencer’s model of surplus energy, a catharsis as Freud would say, of all
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course REC 220 taught by Professor Hedges during the Spring '07 term at CSU Long Beach.

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play observation report - Recreation 220 Universality of...

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