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DAVID ARCHULETA

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Desperate for David Archuleta

Posted by ronaleem on Wednesday, January 22, 2014

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Although David was already on his mission and out of the public eye when I first became aware of the amazing person he is, I sympathize with fans who are desperate to have him back.

How does our desperation feel? I think David can tell us. The other morning as I was listening to my iPod, Desperate came up on the playlist. Although I had listened to this song many times, this was the first time I really heard it. And what I heard was incredible. David actually conveyed the feeling of desperation through his voice!

This is how I think he did it, but I want to mention two things before I get to David’s vocals. The first is the instrumental background: piano, throbbing drumbeat, and electronic sounds which are mostly loud, and frequently relentless and chaotic. This does not give David much opportunity for subtlety in dynamics or tempo.

Second is the lyrics. Desperate is not a profound song. The word “desperate” is used 13 times, 14 if you count the title. The chorus is repeated four times, leaving only three short sections of narrative to describe the subject’s emotional state. The first two sections convey his isolation and absolute despair; the third, his realization that he can change. Because David always strives for a positive message, despair actually turns to hope at the end of the second section when he sings, “It’s your life; it’s time you face it.” This line divides the song into two parts.

So, how does David do it? How does he express absolute despair, then the possibility of hope?

In the first part of the song, he keeps his voice in its lower register, which communicates a feeling of seriousness and heaviness, and contributes to the idea of despair. By staying in the lower register, his voice cannot soar into higher, brighter notes. Also, David clips the notes, and even exhales a little breath as he ends some of them. These clipped notes distinctly separate the words from one another, suggesting isolation, which in turn reinforces the sense of despair. The only time there is even a foreshadowing of hope is in the words “believin'” and “light” in the chorus. When David sings these words, he holds the notes instead of clipping them, thus entertaining the eventual possibility of hope replacing despair.

This possibility of hope is evident in the second part of the song. As David sings, “it’s time you face it,” he leaves his lower register and goes into his higher register. In addition, he holds the note on “it” instead of clipping it. In the lines, “You know that things have gotta change/ You can’t go back, you find a way/ And day by day, you start to come alive,” David’s voice steadily ascends the scale and his dynamics increase. When he sings “alive,” he holds this very high note for several beats and puts some runs into it as well, providing a bright sound. Ironically, “desperate” is sung ten times in this “hopeful” part of the song, but sung near or at the top of David’s range. In addition, he extends these repetitions of “desperate” by holding them for several beats. All of these vocal techniques contribute to the sense of despair, followed by the sense of hope, that David conveys through his interpretation of the song.

I always thought this song was a first-person account of desperation, that the lyrics were those of a person talking to himself. Thanks to some YouTube comments, I realized the lyrics could be addressed to a second person. I believe either interpretation holds up, although I prefer the first-person interpretation because it makes the intensity of the desperation more immediate and personal, which David definitely does.

Kirailah rolon:  Lol Why Would He Be Desperate He Is Hot

HeartSettoLove:  Because hot people have crap in their life happen too :p

And NarutoPHC replies to Kirailah with the third-person perspective:  Lol he is singing about the girl being desperate :P

I love becoming aware of aspects of David for the first time, as in this example of Desperate. I find it remarkable that a 17-year-old was able to convey feelings of desperation and hope so convincingly. David’s musical abilities and exceptional character continue to astound me.

And because I’m still learning about him and from him, I’m not utterly desperate to have him back yet. And no one else should be either, because David will be back soon!

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Ronaleem is a guest writer for The Voice.

Posted in Art, David Archuleta, Editorial | Tagged: , , , , , | 70 Comments »

Six Months With David Archuleta

Posted by ronaleem on Friday, June 21, 2013

canvasPhotoshop screencap Bench photoshoot

June 23 marks the six-month anniversary of the day David Archuleta entered my life. I knew next to nothing about him on December 22; then on December 23, I watched the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert in which David was the guest artist. His undeniable talent and his endearing personality hit me like a ton of bricks and I became an instant fan. I haven’t been the same since.

David showed up in my life right at the very moment when spiritual, physical, and emotional healing occurred for me. His presence filled my soul with music, light, and gladness. I believe David was a gift to me, a way that God showed His love for me and impressed upon me that I had been healed. I’m convinced that a puppy or a new car would have had the same effect, but that God chose to introduce me to David. As a result, my life has been enhanced in a most delightful and remarkable way.

What have I learned about David in the past six months? Absolutely everything. I’ve learned that he has an extraordinary talent and an extraordinary soul. I’ve learned that he’s humble, that he cares deeply for other people, that he’s kind even when others are not kind to him. That he loves his family. That he is a hard worker. That his smile is a true reflection of who he is, and that he smiles all the time. That he chooses to be happy. That he chooses to be optimistic.

I’ve learned that he is a wise and mature soul in a young man’s body. That he has high standards and that he upholds them, no matter what. That he knows that his gift of singing is from God, and that he acknowledges and honors that gift, sharing it gladly with the world. That he was willing to sacrifice the career he had established and the success he had attained in order to serve God.

I’ve learned that David has a special ability to connect with others, sending love to them through his music, love which lessens their hurts and brings them hope. That his fans love and need him, and that he loves and needs his fans in return. That his remarkable character is not apparent to everybody, but that some of us have been given the great blessing to recognize it and to see it clearly.

That’s what I’ve learned about David. But how does he affect my life personally? David affects my life all day, every day. For one thing, I have ODD, big time. The other night on chat, I asked if it was normal to think about him all the time, was I being weird? The consensus was that I am not weird, I’m normal! It’s okay to think about him all the time! Well, thank heavens for that. I have listened to David sing, every day for six months. I have looked at his face, every day for six months. David wakes me up every morning, with lines from one song or another running through my head. Lately, the song has been Think of Me from American Idol. Whatever song fragment I hear, I recognize it immediately. I know which song the fragment belongs to, I know the album it comes from, and I can find it without hesitation on my iPod. Oh, and I didn’t even have an iPod six months ago! I didn’t have an iTunes library. I couldn’t find my way around YouTube. Now, I’m a pro at all of these, thanks to David.

I have several favorite moments from my discoveries during the past six months. The Bench photo shoot! I lose any semblance of holding it together when I watch that beautiful man pose for the camera. And just add to that David’s performance at the Bench launch–I love when he sings Nandito Ako. And lately I’ve been inexplicably attracted to his sweating, dripping face as he performs A Thousand Miles.

I love all the songs from Glad Christmas Tidings, especially Gesu Bambino and Silent Night. My absolute favorite song is Forevermore. In fact, I love the whole Forevermore album because of its tenderness. I love David’s vlogs, because his personality is so evident in them. Boy, was it fun catching up on those! And very recently, Angelica introduced me to David’s Hong Kong performance of Everybody Wants to Rule the World, in which I absolutely loved his voice, the acoustic accompaniment, and the serenity in his countenance.

How else does David affect my life? As much as I wanted to believe it was final, I’ve learned that my experience at Christmas time was not a final healing event, but just one amazing moment on the continuum of my life. Things are continuing to progress for me. Since I’ve met David, I’ve re-established contact with someone who was important to me long ago, and because of that, I’ve again experienced profound emotional healing. Since I’ve met David, a young family member has made a grievous decision which has affected not only our family, but our community. And since I’ve met David, my spiritual life has progressed rapidly, almost too quickly to keep up with. All through this–good, bad, or stressful–David has been singing in my ear, offering me courage and encouragement, promising me that “things are gonna get better.” And they are getting better, all the time. As the challenges increase, the blessings increase.

If I had David in front of me right now (I wish!), this is what I would say to him:

I wonder if you know how amazing you are?

You leave me breathless. 

You didn’t even try, but you’ve stolen my heart.

And I don’t want it back.

I don’t want it back.

Ronaleem is a guest writer for The Voice

Posted in David Archuleta, Editorial | Tagged: , , , , | 113 Comments »

Dear Elder Archuleta

Posted by ronaleem on Thursday, February 21, 2013

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I wrote a letter to Elder Archuleta!

When I made my first comment on The Voice on January 9, explaining—or maybe I should say, exclaiming—my discovery of David, both Abrra and Dayzee urged me to write him a letter.  That was a novel thought.  David was brand new to me, I knew nothing about him, and I had no idea what I could even say.  I had never written a fan letter in my life, unless you count my letter to the Mattel Toy Company back in the late 1950’s thanking them for my Shirley Temple doll.  So, I’m thinking, are they serious about me writing him a letter?

I mulled it over for quite a while, and then during one of many sleepless nights, I started it.  False start.  So I mulled it over some more and got back to it about a week later.  This time it flowed pretty well.  I told him I wanted to thank him for sharing his singing talent with the world and for serving a mission.   Then like a good English major, I stuck to my two main points and kept it one page long.  How can one page adequately thank someone for the profound effect they’ve had on your life?

Three days before Christmas, I had only the vaguest idea who David Archuleta was.  Two days before Christmas, I became acquainted with him as I watched his performance with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Video credit MormonTabChoir

I was blindsided!  The music was so compelling I couldn’t stop listening!  When I could finally tear myself away from this Christmas concert, I found the Christmas concert from Chile and I was even more enraptured.  A glorious voice had suddenly shown up in my life.  It pierced my heart and saturated my soul with music.  I was filled with light and I felt like fire was shooting from my fingertips!

Video credit Alejandro Angulo

This glorious voice came from David, who was a most endearing young man in the first concert, and a humble missionary in the second.  In both concerts, he sang several songs celebrating the birth of Jesus.  What struck me forcefully was that he wasn’t just singing the words, but that he believed what he was singing.  His facial expressions, his emotion, his joy, and the power–and at the same time, the tenderness–of his voice, all revealed a devotion to God.  This is what drew me to him, because I had just had a spiritual reawakening after years of depression, sadness, and slogging through life at half-power.

So, in my letter, I told him how his singing had come at the end of a year of physical, emotional, and spiritual healing for me.  In one dramatic and very sweet moment, his singing had cleared my heart of the remaining bits and pieces of junk that were still in there.  My heart had been healed and was now able to absorb light, and to give and to receive love.  I believe anyone or anything could have finished healing my heart.  But it was David who did it, and for that I am very grateful.

I thanked him for sharing his talent.  Although David sings to the world, he also sings to the individual, which is the reason I have had this marvelous experience for myself.  I have puzzled over what it is exactly that he gives the world.   It took me awhile, but I have an explanation that works for me–love.  As I was being healed spiritually and my heart was being opened, I was able to feel God’s love all around me.  I believe this love is always there, but we have to be open to receiving it.  I think David is very open to God’s love, absorbs it, and reflects it back to anybody else who is receptive.  David’s music carries this love to the willing listener, with all sorts of favorable outcomes.  In the past two months, I’ve read several accounts which are similar to mine.  Burdens of sadness, despair, loss, any number of difficult circumstances, are all made tolerable or even healed by David’s music.

I also thanked him for serving a mission.  My own healing has been facilitated by the love, concern, and teaching of several missionaries over the past year.  As these young men have taught me, I have had to marvel at their maturity, their commitment, and the pure love they have for others.  Based on my experience with them, I am able to imagine what Elder Archuleta’s life as a missionary is like.  I am fascinated by this aspect of him, because missionaries have become very dear to my newly tender heart.  I am positive Elder Archuleta is having an experience in personal growth that could not come in any other way.  I didn’t tell him this, but I am in awe of the person he is now, and even more in awe of the person he is becoming.   He will still be David when he returns, but a more refined and a deeper David.  I can’t wait to hear the music that will come from him then!

I mailed my letter at the very beginning of February.  If it got to Florida on time, it’s probably lost in a package of valentines and well-wishes for his new album.  I have seriously wondered if he would even read my letter, but I’ve been assured that he does try to read everything he gets.  That makes me feel sort of weird.  Here I am listening to his music as I write this, and he might actually read my letter!  I’m talking about the same person who, as a teenager, came in second on American Idol; who, as a sweet-faced young man, sings “Forevermore;” and who, as a very handsome young man, models in the Bench photo shoot (there are no words!).  This person is famous and known by millions of people all over the world.  I can’t fathom that he would actually handle the letter I handled—it’s too surreal.  But the missionary currently serving in Chile, yes, I could see him handling my letter, reading it, and appreciating where I’m coming from.

Posted in Chile, David Archuleta, Devotional, music | Tagged: , , , | 50 Comments »

 
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