Sunday, May 15, 2011

In Praise of the Singer

NPR did a series early this year on the top 50 voices (singing voices) ever recorded. Some of the singers I certainly recognized . . . many I did not.

Just like I, coming out of my personal dark ages, am working my why through the top 100 English novels, I decided to get to know these voices better.

I went to Amazon's MP3 downloadable section and bought a single song from about 20 of these singers. It certainly ended in quite an eclectic "playlist." On it are singers which range from Karen Carpenter, to Khaled, to Freddie Mercury, to Yossele Rosenblat, to Asha Bholse.

I'm on vacation this week, I guess you would call it that, actually it is an annual family reunion. So, with my many beach walks, I've plugged my MP3 player's ear buds in and listen to the music turned up clearly above the crashing waves. I've been blown away. I've never focused on the singer like I have this week. Another great gift from God, the artistry of the music of the voice.

My two favorites, thus far, are Khaled's Aicha and Eva Cassidy's Fields of Gold.

Just like with the visual artist, I hope that in the new world, which God will remake, that besides having the ability to paint, I dream that I could sing. This I desire far more than angelic wings or halos. I long to sing and sing loudly of not just praise to God, but of the pain of personal sorrows, the elation of romantic love . . . you know, the stuff of most songs.

My voice, however, in its raw state in this mortal body is imprisoned within the concrete and razor wire confines of limited range, untrained or talented precise note placement. I dream to have the voice of a Willy Nelson, a Khaled or Leonard Cohen where I can, without effort express what wanders in the hollows of the heart.

All I can say, is how much I've enjoyed the talents that God has given those who sing, and the gift that I have . . . the ears and feelings to enjoy them immensely.

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