Finding a Voice

The only tyrant I accept in this world is the still voice within.

– Mahatma Gandhi 

With the arrangement of my first song nearing completion and my concentration moving toward the music mix, the upcoming week will be about literally finding a voice to record my first song. Before I share the details, I’ll first share why I started this week’s post with a quote from Gandhi.

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Gandhi’s life has always been an inspiration to me, thanks to Sir Richard Attenborough’s 1982 Academy Award winning biographical film, Gandhi. Motivated by the film to learn more about his life, I came to appreciate his genius-level wisdom and admire that he lived his life in perfect accordance with his convictions. Reading his writings was an integral step in finding my own voice, exploring my spiritual space and expanding my worldview. I especially love the quote above because it refers to fortifying strength of character in the face of challenges, and the necessity of knowing oneself. So as I look for someone to sing my first song, I’m reminded that life is a process of finding one’s voice; this blog is about sharing the voice I have discovered, one that is evolving every minute of every day.

As I begin to contemplate the mix of “My Father Walks With Me” – which is the mix of tracks that contain instruments, percussion, sounds, vocal tracks, etc., I must turn to finding a voice to sing the lyrics. Up until now I’ve been using a guitar track to carry the melody as I added in various elements, experimenting with sounds and countermelodies. But now I need to record the voice so that the mix can take place around it, and so that I can add any additional percussion or ambient tracks to complete the song. So why don’t I just sing the song myself?

In my private moments alone, my singing voice is adequate for composing and entertaining myself. And while it is a “blendable” voice for singing in a choir, it lacks the fullness of tone and range required of a soloist. I believe we can do anything we set our minds to do, and that includes singing. But I also realize there are varying levels of success to what we can achieve, and to ensure what’s best for this particular song, I feel a more seasoned voice is in order: I want to create the best possible representation of the first song I share. And frankly, beyond my group of friends (who might disagree), performance has never my ideal. I have always worked outside the spotlight, preferring to string together a collection of words to give voice to an actor or singer, or preferring to hold a camera. Since what I mostley do is direct, this most certainly indicates control issues, which is a tasty topic for another day.

I’m going to set about finding voice talent in a variety of ways, which I’ll share with you next week, along with the results of the search, and hopefully, a report on the recording session.

With just ten days left before the premiere of my first song, I have a lot of ground to cover to finish, but I’ve not been more enthused or excited about a project in some time. As I was telling my good friend Kevan Wong at brunch today, I’m appreciating the deadlines this project is imposing on me (by my own design), and I’m enjoying equally the process of creating the music and writing the blog.

As you move through your week, listen for your voice. It’s there in the stillness, giving rise to your dreams.

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