Voice Snobbery

Last night there was a bit of dis­cus­sion about which singers peo­ple enjoy hearing.

There are some peo­ple whose music I great­ly enjoy but whose voic­es I just can­not stand. If the filk/folk songs Mer­cedes Lack­ey, Leslie Fish (espe­cial­ly their col­lab­o­ra­tions), and Cyn­thia McQuillen have writ­ten were to be record­ed by some­one with a more pleas­ant voice, I’d love to hear it. For what­ev­er rea­son, as much as I like their work, I hate their singing voic­es. I have tried to lis­ten to some of their work enough to learn their songs, and I just can’t do it. Sheet music would be mar­velous for me. 

(I do have a copy of the Incom­pleat Leslie Fish (or the title is some­thing like that), but it’s most­ly just lyrics and gui­tar chords. I want the melody, dammit!)

A cou­ple of peo­ple said that they absolute­ly can­not under­stand what I’m hear­ing there that’s unpleas­ant. Am I nuts? Is it just a mat­ter of per­son­al pref­er­ence? I real­ize that I may just be a bit spoiled, com­ing from a choral back­ground instead of hav­ing found filk as a fan first. But I real­ly do like to hear pleas­ant voic­es on record­ings, rather than rough, grat­ing, or nasal ones. (In infor­mal set­tings like a house­filk, I just like to hear peo­ple singing, period.)

Don’t get me wrong—I am very, very respect­ful of the abil­i­ty to write music and lyrics. I am not den­i­grat­ing any­one’s abil­i­ty to do so. I haven’t ever found the abil­i­ty in myself, and I’m incred­i­bly grate­ful that oth­ers put time and ener­gy into cre­at­ing the music that I so enjoy singing.

Out­side filk, I enjoy hear­ing voic­es like those of the Mediæ­val Baebes, Car­ly Simon, or Mary Chapin Carpenter.

Cur­rent Mood: 😕curi­ous
Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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