Are you hearing voices?
Walk into your local Emergency Care and tell the receptionist that you are hearing voices. If those voices are not telling you to harm yourself or someone else, be prepared for a very long wait. If you have the time AND the money to afford a diagnosis, some form of mental health counseling will probably be in your future. Voices can cost you.
I sometimes hear voices. Actually it's usually a singular voice, and when I pay attention it usually keeps me out of trouble. When I do not listen, a non-original screw up is likely to be repeated. Eventually, without letting the local EMT in on the conversation, I've learned that listening to that “still small voice” is to my benefit. Someone, somewhere, evidently, appears to be concerned about my greater good and is trying to get a word in edgewise. Although my Rock n Roll ears are bad, I still try to hear that quiet yet profound voice.
As a musician / performer, finding and hearing my own voice is important. In live performance mode, notice how many times the singer motions to the monitor tech to “turn me up!” (That often means that someone else needs to turn down.) Having a voice is one thing. Actually being heard is something else again. Since I usually think of myself as more of a “stylist” than a “singer,” I am still working to develop my own voice AND be heard. I think it’s about FINDING A VOICE in a cluttered airspace; speaking both sonically AND about the amount of content being put out there, most of which is spoken or posted.
Recently I attended a music conference in Nashville. Joan Osborne was speaking on a panel entitled, “Musicians and Social Action”. She and her co-panelists spoke of the importance for musicians, and songwriters in particular, to find their voice. Notes, pitch, or stylistic riffs were not the issue, however. It was about, for these artists, finding the words to express their pain, joy, and hope for the world. How can they, or we, call for “justice to flow down like an ever flowing stream” and do it in such a way that their voice will be heard. Closing words from this panel were three, “Find your voice.”
Who I Am is hearing voices. When Mary Kate Brennan and I sing together as a duo, we are developing our collective voice. That voice is about style and blend. Particularly evident in our new material, you will hear another voice as well. That is the voice that Joan Osborne and other artists where speaking of, it is a voice singing about justice. Not a new voice, correct, yet a voice that needs to be heard in this time and place.
I’m still hearing voices and still learning to listen. Who I Am still has more to sing. As music lovers, the next step is up to you. Will you help us to be heard?
Peace to you and yours,