Thursday, December 04, 2008

A painter passing through...

Made a curious observation yesterday.

My two favorite singers in the whole wide world -- Robinella and the late Eva Cassidy -- are also artists. It makes a difference, me thinks.

Artists bring a certain aesthetic to their worldview anyway. Combine the aesthetic with music and it often creates something quite special.

Robin's best work paints quite a picture. ("Funny how my teardrops don't make a sound/When they roll down my cheeks and they fall to the ground/They slip through the cracks of my broken heart/Ever since we drifted apart...")

I'll never forget the first time I heard that song. Don't think I've still gotten over it.

Eva Cassidy was more of an interpreter than a composer. I'm not sure she ever wrote her own music. But the feeling is there.

Sometimes a singer becomes one with a song. They envelop each other, become inseparable, joined together amid the rhythm and the rhyme.

Eva Cassidy seemingly did this every time she opened her mouth. Listen to her sing Sting's "Fields of Gold" or especially the Robert Burns poem "My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose," and you'll feel it. Time stops; you don't ever want the seconds to start ticking again.

The best singers, in their way, are painters passing through our lives, using their canvas to paint word pictures that make us happy, or sad, or introspective.

When the two actually merge... well, just listen to the music and shut your eyes.

You'll see what I mean.

A new collection of Eva Cassidy recordings, "Somewhere," released this fall, includes her rendition of "My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose." Robinella's "Teardrops" can be found on her 2006 album, "Solace for the Lonely."

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