Chasing Frisson

I want to start by saying that I do not know how common frisson is; it may be more common than I think but it is such an intense experience for me that I feel like more people would talk about it. The first time I remember feeling frisson I was listening to Lightning Strikes the Postman by The Flaming Lips while driving on the way to highschool. I thought I had broken my brain.

That finger egg crack thing that someone does at the top of your head and spreads down your body is a good example of the pattern but it goes further. This feeling starts as trickles of euphoria from the top of my central nervous system, spreads to the ends of my peripheral nervous system and then moves up and down in several waves of strong euphoria for about a minute. I have looked into it for a while and I actually seem to experience a combination of frisson and ASMR triggered by sudden changes in musical key and/or tempo.

A good example of a song that can do this for me is Anamanaguchi’s Bosozoku GF (specifically at the 3:46 mark). If I listen to the same song too much it loses this superpower for a while so I have to rotate and find new songs that trigger this response. I also have to be going fast or accelerating, so that means I am on a highway changing lanes or something (which can be distracting) or walking at a brisk pace (my preferred method).

I see frisson as magic and a true inspiration for my life and art. It makes me cry tears of joy knowing that frisson celebrates a beautiful moment of melding music, body, and the world around me.

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