Shivers of delight ran up and down my spine yesterday as I was listening to the concert by former student, Joey Fala, at St. Andrew’s Cathedral. I was in amazement at his musical maturity, and the ease with which he played extremely difficult passages — the music just oozed out!
Here was Joey’s bio in the program: Joey Fala is a fourth year student of architecture and lighting at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY and has worked as a designer with Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design and the Lighting Research Center. Joey began studying organ with Katherine Crosier of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu and was appointed organ scholar at Central Union Church in 2007. He is the past recipient of the American Guild of Organists Hawaii Chapter and Eastern New York Chapter Scholarships and the Robert T. Anderson Award. Joey currently studies with Alfred Fedak and Christian Lane and serves as Organ Scholar at the First United Presbyterian Church, Troy.
It was gratifying to see so many “Joey fans” at the concert, including Samuel Lam, Margaret Lloyd, John Renke, Carl Crosier, Vreni Griffith, Elizabeth Wong, Betsy McCreary and Bill Potter. Later in the afternoon, the local Hawaii Chapter of the American Guild of Organists met at the Pacific Club, and more “Joey fans” had a chance to visit with him, including Nyle Hallman, Kathy Hallman, Karen Leatherman, Leigh Johansen, Gary Kahn, Paul Lillie, Karl Bachman and others.
In an earlier post I wrote about the phenomenon of having “the chills” during moments of aesthetic beauty, and found that there is even a name for it — ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, and you can read all about it here. The author described it like this: ASMR is a tricky feeling to describe, and I can only talk about it secondhand. From what I understand from conversations with ASMRers, it’s a tingle in your brain, a kind of pleasurable headache that can creep down your spine.
Dr. Victoria Williamson asked:
Have you ever had the experience of listening to a favourite piece of music and suddenly you get a little spikey feeling running down your spine? How about goose bumps on the skin? Maybe a tingling sensation at the back of your neck? All these unique emotive reactions to music fall under the definition of ‘musical chills’, also termed frisson, thrills and shivers (and apparently, and intriguingly, ‘skin orgasms’!)
Whatever — it was a beautiful concert with beautiful playing. Congratulations, Joey!