Meet My Inner Voices

Photo: Jennifer Hambrick

There are a lot of voices out there. The voices of Madison Avenue hucksters hawking the Next Big Thing. The voices of politicians doling out demagoguery left, right, and (rarely) center. The voice of your mother. Your father. Your older brother, who once shaved your eyebrows off while you were asleep. Sister Mary Margaret, your fourth grade math teacher, who, because of your lousy recitation of the multiplication tables, told you you’d never amount to much. Your boss. Your yoga instructor. Your spouse.

Some of these voices are for the helpful (imagine the vocal effervescence of Glenda the Good witch), but some are not. The sum total of all of them is a certain cacophony that threatens to paint over your own voice, to mow down what you think you need to say.

As a musician, poet, and broadcaster, my own voice – metaphorically and literally understood – has found many ways to make its presence known. Like all writers, I am sensitive to the figurative notion of authorial “voice,” the special way a writer makes words foxtrot across the page or screen. As a singer and broadcaster, I pay great attention to the voice as a literal thing – a body part to take care of an instrument to master – in my daily work.

In naming this blog Inner Voices, I am honoring the special resonance of voice broadly construed and borrowing from musical lingo, which is so beguilingly expressive. In musical parlance, an inner voice is a line of music that is neither the melody line nor the bass line, but rather a line buried, as it were, in the middle of the texture.

Far from serving as merely a supporting actor, an inner voice gives a musical work depth, richness, and texture. Good performers will always know when and how much to bring an inner voice to the fore. And when an inner voice has its moment in the sun, magic can happen.

Here, on this website, I bring forth the inner voices of my own life as a poet, writer, singer, broadcaster, and voice talent to share with you. I hope you will feel free to make your voice heard, too, and drop me a line now and then. But please be sure to speak up, so we all can hear you above the din.

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