29 April 2017

Unusual voices 2: Esma Redžepova

Esma Redžepova's voice has made many incisions in people's hearts, including mine. Yet it has also healed; I can think of few things more cathartic than this song, despite not understanding any of the lyrics.

It makes me think of  the theorist Cathy Caruth's article on 'the wound and the voice', which is sort of too long and convoluted to summarise here, but her description of the way in which the voice seems to erupt from traumatic wounds seems particularly relevant here.  I've thought over the years that maybe my perception on instrumental and particularly vocal performance is quite sadistic -- I really think that performance should be suffered, not really enjoyed. Redžepova doesn't sound like she loves the sound of her own voice. Whereas the prerequisite for a 'great singer', particularly in the popular Western tradition, is often that they must sound as though they love the sound of their own voice. 

Personally I much prefer Redžepova and her cutting, pain-ridden delivery.

22 April 2017

When the mesmerising intro turns into something all too normal...

The intro to this song seems to lead into some kind of unknown world and then it just becomes... well.. I'll leave you to judge.

Anyway -- this intro reminds me a bit of Cascading Slopes ,in the best way possible.

21 April 2017

Unusual voices 1: Karen Dalton

In order to expand my horizons as far as singing and voices are concerned, I'm starting a feature called Unusual Voices. And the first choice is Karen Dalton, a Cherokee blues/folk singer with a completely one-of-a-kind voice which, according to one listener, 'sounds like a trumpet.'

It made me want to sound like a trumpet too, or at least to make my voice not sound like a voice...

9 April 2017

'The planet is ill'

One of my friends said that to me the other day, and I agree. Although I think it's not so much that the planet is ill but that some people are sick in the head.

It is all the more important, during these times, to feel some kind of healing influence which can pacify the world's treachery for a while. So I'm going to turn to Blood Orange, and particularly to Augustine... No really -- is it possible to listen to the chorus, or the bridge, and not to feel like the world might not be doomed after all? These are Dev Hynes' melodies and harmonies at their most heavenly.

Also  -- the way the video begins with a different song altogether, which is much more mellow and much less heart-rending, and then it's almost as if someone's like 'Scratch that, I'm going to dive into the very depths of melancholy.' And then it goes on and dives...