It’s always been an interesting thing to me, a physical reaction to a non-physical trigger — something we see or hear or feel that causes an emotional response which the body then responds to in seemingly inexplicable ways. Make myself clear, you ask? Well, okay.
Music has always had the ability to give me goosebumps and shivers. Not all music by any stretch, but there are a good number of songs in my iTunes library that, given the right state of mind (though there are a few that I always cringe at), and the right melody, drum beat, lyric or any combination there of can produce a bizarre feeling. It’s almost as if I momentarily leave my body and am in an expansive space within my own head, surrounded by this amazing sound. (I know, that sounds a little fruity, but I couldn’t explain it any other way.) Sometimes the sensation can be very fleeting, passing in the blink of an eye. Sometimes, however, the physical response to the music will occur multiple times within a single song, these cool waves occasionally lasting upwards of ten seconds.
I also experience odd reactions in my stomach upon seeing really good graphic design. I’ve been known to often use the phrase “It makes me sick…” when I see something I really like, and many times I literally mean it. Whether it be a logo, poster, or even a typeface (which is becoming more and more common as my love of type is growing on a daily basis), that amazing collision of concept and execution can turn my stomach. I’ve never puked, but sometimes it feels close. What’s perhaps even more interesting, to me at least, is that when I’m working on a piece that I’m particularly excited about (for whatever reason it may be), my heart races and I can get light-headed. Who ever said working in front of a computer isn’t exhilarating?
During college I lived with a girl that would get goosebumps from visual stimulus; we went to a French Masters collection on view at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and she mentioned reacting to a few that were shown, so I know I’m not alone. Does anyone else out there have any sort of experience like this?