An etherealgirl's Adventures in Cyberland

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

remembering a peruvian songbird

Almost since before I could talk, I loved to sing. And one of my earliest memories is singing in my bedroom in the dark along with recordings of Yma Sumac playing from the living room, when my parents had company and long after I was supposed to be sound asleep. More than anything, I was fascinated by the growling lows and shimmering highs of her incredible five octave range; more than anything I wanted to emulate those sounds. And at 3, 4 and even 5 years of age it never for a moment occurred to me that I couldn't do it. So I contented myself with singing along... until one day I realized that I could be heard by the adults in the living room much to their amusement and my mortification. I remember being really self-conscious about it from that moment on... but I never really forgot my very first music idol.

And so I was inspired to do a quick search this insomia-induced early morning, in commemoration of my very dear, long lost friend, and was rewarded with this, this and this.

Because she is a native of Peru, like my dad, I think he was particularly taken with her; because he was taken with her, I got the opportunity to become acquainted with a voice I might never have otherwise heard. And that, for me, would have been an incredible loss because she was the springboard of inspiration to all kinds of music obsessions for me. It was really great to find some information about her after all these years.

Although, they are different in many ways she reminds me a bit of the wonderful Sarah Vaughn in this sense: both had voices that were true instruments in their own right. They could do just about anything with them and better than just about anyone else. Yma's voice though, was always such a creature of nature; I mean to me anyway, she evoked something wild and primitive, especially in her lower range; while her higher range soared like a bird. At least that is the way I remember her voice and I'm getting goose bumps just thinking about it. I would love to hear that voice again and I'm realizing that I don't own one single song and I don't even know if dad has the records anymore... maybe I ought to try to do something about that, now that I've found these sites.

Yma in traditional native Peruvian garb

found at this very cool site

Posted by etherealfire :: 3:53 AM :: 0 Comments:

Post / Read Comments