The power of the voice: a memorial to Mirella Freni and a little bit autobiography
|I heard a voice. Usually, that's the end of it. But not this time. I kept hearing the voice doing difficult times, during good times, sometimes just whenever, for no reason at all.
I have a propensity for certain voices. I love opera. I've noticed that certain opera singers really make me feel things. Fuzzy feelings. It's less prevalent in pop or other musical genres but it's there. Sometimes, when I hear some opera singers, I cry. Other times, I swear I can see and feel the notes float before they reach me. When they get to me, the voices transcend the ordinary, flowing through me and making me feel things; things like an emptying of my pent up emotions.
On a day when I really feel the loss of the legendary soprano, Mirella Freni, I've been playing many of her works. Even though she's not there in the physical sense--where I can really experience her voice and presence, I still feel the power of the voice. I still feel the notes flow through me and change me. I still love the power of the voice to change me and make me whole again.
Not every voice does this for everyone. Once I heard a voice student say that there was evidence that certain voices trigger certain frequencies in people. When a voice does that for a certain individual, that individual loves that performer. It's not just about liking a performer for what they sing or even for how they sound...after all, a lot of people enjoy performers like Billie Holliday or Eminem. It's more than that, the performers who get to you, who you absolutely love, have a very real and very physical connection. They have triggered that certain frequency in you.
For me, this doesn't end with music. I hear voices a lot because of my mental illness but I also hear voices that I think are more than that...not just angels but also the voice of someone who cares, someone who loves me, someone who has reached out to me, more than a singer, but a voice who has and is saving me.