Readjusting my volume

I wish I had the patience of a saint, but sometimes when people sound annoying my ears turn off. It might not be their voice, but their words or how they come across. I might miss the point they are trying to make.

Judging your own voice or your own work is difficult. It might be a skill in itself. Many are the songs that I abused at the top of my lungs. With so much emotion inside I wanted it all to be heard. If only it had been my intense study of Levi Stubbs in the Four Tops. But most likely I owe certain high-pitched reflexes to my juvenile years listening to a certain band from Dublin.

It hasn’t been an esthetic choice to belt. Rather it has sprung from a physical desire to feel the music in my body. No matter how it sounds, there’s an inner sensation that can only be had when you’re singing on the verge of breaking. Another thing is that when writing I seem to be more sensitive to the motion and emotion of melody in a higher register. Low down, it’s almost like melodies appear monotonous. There’s less drama. I might have to adjust my hearing. Or feeling.

Lately, I’ve realized that as a vocalist I might have more to offer if I strive for ease and effortlessness, allowing other nuances to come through. In a way, I suppose it rhymes more with my personality. But what really dawned upon me some time ago is how few of my favourite singers that come across as loud and strong. Most are actually pretty soft-spoken. Many sing close to the mic, almost whispering.

It’s easy to be annoying. It might even pay off, if you’re a kid. But when the silent, soft-spoken type suddenly speaks up … There are moments when a whisper can be really loud.

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