Losing my voices

14 01 2016

051726b3b9c2504494417355e49585450db82-wmSome of my pals tell me they are visual types, focused on how a thing looks to determine how they feel about it, or him or her.

Not me. I’m a voice gal. I used to swoon regularly listening to Long John Baldry’s deep voice, especially his “Oh, Baby!” on “You’ve lost that Loving Feeling”. I croon along with Hugh Laurie in the car, delighting in his deep tones. Matt Andersen gets my money whenever he appears in town. I get phone calls every once and awhile from a fellow I’ve never met, but I’m always delighted to hear from him because he has a glorious “radio” voice. I’ve been known to assault unwary waiters with the suggestion they look for voice work.

Add an accent and I am as liquid as a cat.

So when David Bowie passed away this past week, I was left saddened but not tragically so. His reedy voice never turned me on. Too hip and tight.

But Alan Rickman????? His loss grieves me to the core.

I’ve watched every movie he was in. I swear to the gods I’d listen to him reading a grocery list, my head tilted forward, ears turned greedily toward the sound. I wish I’d had a chance to hear him on stage.

Why is he no longer among us? I feel bereft, so sad, just like when I heard of the loss of Long John Baldry. My favourite voices are slipping away….

Of course everyone knows Rickman as Snape, the evil/good character from Harry Potter, but I love him best for his role in Dogma, as the Metatron, the Voice of God. If my god had a voice, I’d sure as heck want him to sound like Alan Rickman. I’d be ever so much better behaved if only there was an Alan Rickman talking crossly and then gently to me. Heck, a Voice like his could simply say hello and I’d vow to be good forevermore.

Maybe he’ll get a voice over job up THERE? I can only hope.

Until then, I shall simply keep on sinning, with a deep bass background…

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Whisper in my ear…..

Thank you, A.R. You’ve made my life immeasurably richer.

 

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Hugh Laurie and how I wish I were a polymath…

11 09 2011

Hugh Laurie has just released an album of American Blues, called “Let Them Talk”. I am madly driving around in my car with it on my CD player just so I can listen to it and drive. Blues are great driving music. Heck, they are just great music, especially when you are listening to a fantastic pianist, and the crew of blues experts Laurie has gathered around him to play. I’ve always liked New Orleans Blues, and I’m thrilled people will get a chance to hear them, with the star power Dr. House can bring. Perhaps people will actually start listening to them again, and the Ottawa Blues Festival will ditch the need to include pop and screamer rock in their line-up…sigh.

But I am beginning to feel despair. Here is the lovely Hugh Laurie, multi-talented artist, rower, father, actor, writer, and musician. Is there anything he CAN’T do? (Well, other than shave, apparently) And here am I, struggling to write a single book, teaching myself ukulele because if I play it badly (as I do with all the instruments I try) it won’t much matter (though thanks to James Hill and the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, this is no longer a safe claim), knitting misshapen squares and sewing angled straight edges. While I try everything and scrape by, he tries things and brings grace, humour, and humility as well as expertise to them.

We are about the same age, he and I. I feel so unaccomplished.

I think it must be the education one gets at Oxford. Or something. The utter brilliance Brits that come from that system show is wonderful, broad, esoteric, polymathic (which doesn’t mean they know a lot about math). I think my narrow education in the US followed by my nursing education has left something to be desired. My kids seem to feel that need, too, expanding their studies into the why’s of things as versus just the hows and whats. I hope it helps them. Already two of them have accomplished more than I, and they are half my age. And the third is gathering strength for the fight. They astonish me.

It also makes me feel urgent about accomplishing something well. Recently I’ve been entering lots of writing contests as a quick and dirty way to give me deadlines and force my hand into the writing position. So I crank out crappy stuff quickly and can assuage myself that I am at least writing. I signed up again for the three-day novel contest, and got well into a story when it occurred to me I’d had quite enough of writing fast stuff with little redeeming social value. I need to devote the time to writing well. To the dreaded revision, to looking at my stuff with the eye of someone who does have some writing chops to bring to bear. It’s no longer okay for me to do “well enough”.

Of course, this gives my ability to procrastinate full rampant control, but it’s September now, and my brain wants a challenge. It’s time.

So I’m going to put on some Hugh Laurie and his crew, some Muddy Waters and Louis Armstrong and Ray Charles and Long John Baldry, and get my sorry arse to work.








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