Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Music & Tributes

After a long season of listening to Adventures in Odyssey and Jungle Jam in the car, we have finally gotten back to listening to some good, old music. I had bought a CD several years ago that I resurrected. Not having heard it for quite a while, I was missing it. I played it over and over for several days, then changed to a different one. To my surprise, both of the kids requested I put the first one back in because they had enjoyed it that much. I was surprised because the next one I put in has usually been more to their liking in the past.

This got me to thinking about music and the types of music that I like, and particularly, the types of voices that I love.

I like some contemporary Christian music, some choir music, some bluesy-black-soul music, the occasional (.....very occasional, I might add) hip hop song, some country music, and Southern Gospel. In fact, the older I get, the more I love Southern Gospel - at least the tight harmony, non-honky Southern Gospel anyway.

Being the analytical-type of person that I am, I have to ask myself what it is about someone's singing that I like or dislike. There are a lot of voices that I admire greatly for their technical ability, for example Mariah Carey. Not many can touch her vocal gymnastics. However, I am one who has always appreciated the beauty in vocal simplicity as well, so I get very tired of the vocal back-flips when they're overdone. And I believe Mariah Carey, just to mention one, overdoes it. Celine Dion, on the other hand, does not. She can sing sweetly, softly, simply, gymnasticy, powerfully - crescendoing to beautiful heights - and ending brilliantly, all in one song.

I love the singers who understand this - that it's not all about their ability. In fact, I would much prefer a simple singer over a technically great singer who doesn't understand the beauty of simplicity.

The CD my kids fell in love with and which I have always loved is Joni Ayn Clark. I had the privilege of meeting her and hearing her in person many moons ago. She is the "Celine Dion" of Christian music, in my opinion. She sweetly draws you in and leaves you wanting to hear the next vocal "lick". More than all of that, she is annointed. And to a Christian, annointing is the most important aspect of singing.

I want to end this post by paying tribute to a few of my very favorite, local singers. I happen to think that our district - for how small it is, and our own church has some very great vocal talent. I am not writing this to embarrass anyone, simply to tell them I appreciate their contribution to singing and allowing God to use them by annointing their talents.

I have to start with my own niece, Melissa. She recently sang The Prayer at a wedding and SLAYED the song. This is a Celine Dion song - not just anyone can sing a Celine song - and she more than did it justice. I love, love, love her voice. I also love my oldest niece's voice, Amanda, but unfortunately she uses her vocal talents mainly as back-up, focusing more her incredible piano playing ability. I do believe, however, she would be phenomenal as well if she were to ever sing more lead vocals.

In our district, the standouts are Amy - I love the sweetness and purity of her voice; Becky - I do not get to hear her half enough, but I love her husky alto voice and always have; and how can I not include Misty - the voice I miss, but love - singing to beautiful heights untouched by others.

And last - but certainly not least - is Vren. How I love you AND your voice! Your spirit! Your annointing!

It's not easy to balance vocal ability, artistry, simplicity and humility - and I love you all for your ability to do it.

This might seem like a different post. But while I had it on my heart to write it, I did. God bless you all.

8 comments:

! V r e n said...

Darla,
You're too sweet.
You, me dear, have a wonderful voice as well! I remember the first time hearing you sing "Beyond the open door" at camp and I loved to hear you sing eversince.
Now when will I hear you again? ;)

! V r e n said...

btw Jungle Jam and Odyssey was mine and Shad's BFF growing up. We'd build a fort out of pillows, blankets and chairs and munch on snacks while we popped in a Jungle Jam or an Adventures in Odyssey.

Any kid that listens to Jungle Jam and Odyssey are rad kids, lemme tell ya.. Lol ;)

Laura said...

Vren, my kids still listen to them and laugh and can quote some of them. They are the greatest!

My three favoritest singers in the whole wide world are Darla, Melissa and you, Vren. You guys are amazing and I love to hear you.

Darla said...

Vren: I considered not posting this at all because I didn't want people to think they needed to reciprocate a compliment. Honestly, that was not my intention. Thank you for your kind words, however. Come for a visit to see us and you'll likely hear me sing again - deal?

I hope my kids are as "rad" as you, Vren. I mean as a young adult.

And Laura, I think there is some bias there, but thanks anyway.

! V r e n said...

Darla,
I now exactly what you feel and mean. I know you and you are a very sincere, real and quite a humble person so "comment reciprocation" never even crossed my mind :) I don't think I've ever shared that with you and that just gave me a perfect opportunity to do so. Love you!!

Laura- Oh man I'm sure we could hold a JJ and Odyssey quote fest together!! haha Love you!

Anonymous said...

Darla,
Bet you didn't know I read your blog, but I do, and thank-you for slipping my name in there with all you people who really can sing! (this is not a reciprocated complement)Keep the blogging up, I get such a charge out of your stories. Your kids are book material:) They make me laugh whether I feel like it or not.

Becky

Darla said...

Becky: "with all you people who really can sing!" - that is so funny! Do you know there have been people in your own church who have told me that they prefer YOUR voice above all others? You certainly don't give yourself enough credit, but then that's why you're special, too. I started really loving your voice when you sang "Does Anybody Know About The Love Of Jesus" at camp meeting and have loved it ever since.

And yes, I am always surprised when I find out that people actually read my blog. Thank you for your encouragement and kind words.

I really should have put a part in this post that said that these were the singers that I would love to duet (or "tri-ette"....)with at some point (besides my nieces, whom I do already). Wouldn't that be fun?

Rachel Roberts said...

I can imagine Melissa tore it up singing "The Prayer". Always loved her voice.