Voices

I think that voices can heal.  It’s not just the pitch, the inflection, the flow. Something can reside behind those, and can reach out and touch us, if we have ears and souls to hear.  Like this:

He began with a simple song, something in Gaelic with a strong rhyming chime to the lines, accompanied by the merest touch of his harp strings, so that each plucked string seemed by its vibration to carry the echo of the words from one line to the next.  The voice was also deceptively simple.  You thought at first there was nothing much to it – pleasant, but without much strength.  And then you found that the sound went straight through you, and each syllable was crystal clear, whether you understood it or not, echoing poignantly inside your head.

It’s good to have the sound go straight through you.  And to be affected profoundly, whether you’re conscious of that or not.

Here are two voices that have moved me:

Frank Muller was the narrator of many audio books, including “The Body” by Stephen King.  I was right there with him as four young boys went in search of a dead body by the railroad tracks.  Those four guys seeped inside me, thanks to Stephen and Frank.  Here is what Mr. Muller had to say about his art:

Building to crescendos, weaving the arc of a story over so many hours, requires total perspective and sure sense of direction.  And intimacy.  An audio book is a very intimate one-on-one relationship between reader and listener.  The microphone is the ear of the listener.  I often imagine that I’m sitting on a comfortable couch speaking the narrative text into the listener’s ear.  When the characters speak, they parade around in front of us, and we watch them together.

Patrick Stewart was the actor who portrayed Captain Jean-Luc Picard in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”.  Sure he had a Shakespearean background, but he mesmerized me far beyond that.  He seemed to stop, to sit in the middle of the present moment, when he spoke.  He often used few words, with my favourites being “Make it so”.  His rich baritone enveloped me.  And then there were the inexpressibles … about which therefore there is nothing to say.

I like my voice.  I don’t try to make it “good”.  I just speak.  And I do believe it reaches people.  I want to embrace the world in any way I can … by eyes, ears, fingers and mouth.

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