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.

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