The Language of Song
Posted by Abrra on Wednesday, July 14, 2010
“I don’t understand a word of Spanish but I FEEL everything David is singing. David’s voice is beautiful in any language.”
~~ Pabuckie’s comment after hearing David sing in Spanish at the Tejano Awards Show
Just a little over two years into his career and David Archuleta has performed songs in four different languages: English, Latin, Spanish and French. His Christmas from the Heart CD was a groundbreaking moment in his career. Doing a holiday CD is not uncommon. Selecting material that crosses language barriers is, and proves yet again that David is a risk-taker. For David the language of song is not expressed in words alone so comprehending the lyrics of the non-English language songs is not a requirement. One simply feels the quintessential spirit of the message. He breathes life into traditional carols by an infusion of melodic humming, creating a velvety tone, a technique he does to perfection.
The mark of a great singer is the ability to communicate the message with more than mere words. David displays a raw emotional connection with each performance. The spoken language of the song is not as relevant as the message conveyed through his interpretation. David has demonstrated this ability countless times. Honored with the ALMA Award Year in Music “Rising Male Star,” his capacity to tap into his passion for a song, then convey its meaning to an audience was breath-taking. Contigo en la Distancia was flawlessly performed in Spanish on national television before an audience of Latino cultural elite. Many well-known singers, actors and entertainment industry decision makers had stunned looks of appreciation when the lights went up. This passion for the art of conveying emotion through song has caught the attention of the Latino community in a big way. His voice was showcased in three solo parts in the production of Somos el Mundo, while most singers were featured once or twice. Such recognition indicates a level of well deserved respect outside of mainstream pop and within a much larger world perspective.
“…music can be so much more than just entertainment. It can be an act of communion, a dialog in sound, sacred or soulful, happy or sad…it can cover the entire spectrum of human emotions.”
~~ David Archuleta, Chords of Strength
When he sang “Be Still My Soul” in concert at Rexburg, Idaho, there was such palpable emotion in the execution of the song. In a choked voice, while clutching his own hymn book, he spoke of how the song had a calming effect during times of strife. Singer and audience shed a tear of gratitude midway through the song. His voice radiates his spiritual dedication to a higher power when he sings hymns.
Using his voice to convey what David himself calls the “language of feeling,” and further describes as an act of catharsis, he references one definition of catharsis in his book, “Chords of Strength” as, “an experience of emotional release often inspired by or through art.” In short, he gives everything to every performance. We are witnesses of a spiritual intensity no matter what song he sings, what language he sings in, or what message he conveys. We believe that what he does in that moment, is stand in his own truth as a singer, and we, as listeners, receive his message loud and clear.