I search under file names and wildcards. I search all the “.mp3” files. I search my external hard drive and even query a few friends who likely have the file I feel compelled to share. It’s me, singing Trisha Yearwood’s “Perfect Love.” It isn’t perfect, but it is me singing it and I thought it would provide a personal touch to today’s DPchallenge entry. (Hint: I never find it-so here’s the bonus video-Trisha singing it). To be clear and legal, neither one of us wrote it.
It was recorded under less-than-perfect conditions, in a home studio with a couple of kids running around upstairs, supplying a little extra percussion. No matter how much fiddling with the mixer, pitch-correction and alcohol added, the result was not stellar, but it was my first mp3 and it was exciting to create.
Whenever I hear my recorded singing voice it sounds thick, like a McDonald milkshake, compared to the lacy airy way it sounds inside my head. Looking back, playing with the mixer and getting the output to sound like it sounds in my head was eye-opening and encouraging. I wasn’t going to be on “Idol” but maybe I could jam with others, and that was something I could get behind. Speaking of getting behind, I saw myself as the back-up girl, maybe playing a tambourine with my idols, Maggie, Terre and Suzzy. This is humorous because my harmony isn’t all that harmonious. This is not just self-deprecating filler, this is fact.
Technology, my friend since the Prodigy days in the 80’s was now paying off in a tangible way. I could really start to imagine myself singing in a little crappy bar, and that is really all I ever wanted to do.
So I live my dream one summer and play my guitar “out” a little handful of times until brain cancer inhabits my head. Having a craniotomy really put the kibosh on my budding classic-rock/country/folk/diva-covers avocation. I realize I am lucky to be alive and that people don’t always get to do their dream thing, even once.
I was shooting some guns a few weeks ago (legal, at a target range) and I felt a deafening jolt. I had protective earplugs on but I ended up with a hearing problem severe enough to merit a trip to the doctor and the audiologist, who confirmed what I already knew: I have a loud ringing in my ears. It is preventing me from hearing a bunch of stuff (Tinitis) and also making me crazier than I already am. There’s a chance it will improve on its own and I believe it has, but for now my loved one’s voices sound pinched and auto-tuned. The Dr. says come back in three months. His office is filled with little children, some with hearing aids. I tell myself “buck up and stop whining.”
Several weeks later, when I finally get the nerve to pick up my guitar, I am pleasantly surprised. As long as I don’t sing, the guitar sounds OK, and my lack of singing will probably make some people downright giddy. (Singing makes feedback in my head that sounds like, well, feedback).
Perfect Love lyrics didn’t speak to me nearly as much as the upbeat tempo and the low alto range. It was my first and only recording unless you count the Jr. High hours spent in my room with my little red Panasonic cassette player. The song began to mean more to me later years. “Then let’s stop at your mom and dad’s and hear them talk about the busy week they had.”
Music got me through a lot of things. When my brother-in-law brought me my guitar in the hospital, I first thought “things must be really bad.” After playing “What’s going on” (the Four Non Blondes song not the R&B classic hit) on continuous loop until visiting hours were over, I had a feeling that everything was gonna be alright.
It’s hard for me to listen to the screechy high tones but I am gradually re-learning to love music. I don’t understand people that don’t want to listen to music-I always choose the tunes that would correspond to the mood I want to be in and then wait for the music to take me there. And that’s the greatest thing about it: even when it is tough to hear, it never lets you down.
This post is in response to the DPChallenge Moved By Music 11/4/2013 http://wp.me/p2GNGE-gI