Saturday, March 17, 2012

Voices Carry ...

Ever heard the famous line from Shakespeare's play …

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

~Juliet, Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)]

My mind wonders next to the thought: “What’s in a voice?”

The artistic side of me --and perhaps a bit of the scientist, the observer, as well-- is very visual, I will admit. Seems I’m always on the lookout for patterns … shapes, colors, numbers … eagerly searching for discontinuities, as often nearby the mysterious lies in wait longing to be found. The latter being said, however, I’ve always loved voices. I’m not sure why? Maybe it’s my love of books and my penchant for making written worlds breathe to life within my vivid imagination? I have as much fun assigning a voice to a character in one of my reads as I do building the physical attributes of a character into an animated being.

On movie night’s, I often drive my friends and family crazy when I hear a voice that I know, but just can’t quite place said voice with the name of an actor or actress. I’ll spend the whole movie recalling clips from previous movies in my mind … playing them over and over until I’ve identified the unknown voice. Yes, I seem to have a memory catalog of voices for actresses, actors, and other famous people –even lesser known parts, I will remember a voice and then hear it in a subsequent movie—even though at times, I would be hard-pressed to identify the same actor by face. Is that odd? Given that actors are constantly changing roles and physical attributes, I suppose identifying these actors by voice --which remains relatively constant— makes sense, right? I wonder, does everyone use this method of voice cataloging as a means of identifying people?

Movie I watched tonight, "Three Musketeers" ...
Voices would carry here, no?

Then there are other worldly experiences I have had … departed spirits … that ‘speak’ with voice. So I suppose that I come naturally --or supernaturally, as the case may be ; )-- by my pre-disposition for a fascination with voices. I wonder, does one’s voice say more, or at least as much, about a person as their physical appearance? Are voice cues in speech more telling than visual mannerisms to a certain segment of the population like me?

… I stop and think here for a moment, how many times I have had conversations with someone on the phone only to meet them later, in person, to find that they look absolutely nothing like the way I had pictured them in my mind --physical attributes like, hair, height, weight, ethnicity, etc.— an image that I had conjured up based purely upon the hearing of their voice during the short duration of a single, or few, phone call(s). Or the reverse happens, that is to say that I will see a photo of someone before I ever have the opportunity to speak with them on the phone or to meet in person, Skype, etc.… Especially, with all of the on-line interactions in our world today (e.g., Facebook). Often times, you will see a photo of someone long before you ever actually hear their voice, with Facebook and the like. So naturally, in the latter instance, one begins to formulate what voice might go with a friend’s photograph/profile picture, right … or is that just me? Surprisingly, I have found that often my voice imaginings are very close to the real-life voice of the actual person in these cases of visual photograph coupled with longer term written interactions -- as opposed to a non-visual, short term phone call(s) and guessing at what the physical attributes of a person may be based solely upon hearing their voice.  The scientist in me would love to know if other people find that they too can get pretty close to target for guessing at the voice to pair with the case of a visual image, with only written interactions. Who knows, this could be a whole new science, eh? ; )

Porthos, Athos, D’Artagnan , Aramis
"Three Musketeers"
(A great movie by the way ... Image Source)

Are you wondering, then, what prompted my pondering of this topic? Well, I just happened to come across another fabulous voice in a movie this evening … The voice of Athos (Matthew MacFadyen), in the new “Musketeer” movie. MacFadyen's voice is just mesmerizing to me … I could get lost in his voice. Whose voices would you classify as “fabulous”?

Oh well, perhaps you've enjoyed the ramblings of my late night, sleep-deprived mind.  Nite ya'll and Happy St. Patrick's Day! May the Luck of the Irish Bless you this day and throughout the upcoming week ahead.  God Bless =)

Song:  "Voices Carry", By Till Tuesday ... Aimee Mann

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