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.