Disturbed, Sound of Silence

A metal band picked up Sound of Silence to cover as they do energizing old songs with new arrangement and instruments but this one was different. At first I'm stuck, oh crap, he's going too slowly, this whole thing is going to be a total drag. David Draiman increases the power of his voice incrementally as he goes section to section without giving up its full richness. He inverts familiar phrases. Three times, I think, phrases that are meant to rise instead descend for additional metal profundity. Draiman yells without abandoning his original richness. That is, he takes us listening to the limit he knows of the richness-intensity of his voice. He goes very high and powerful. We know he can go even higher but not with the same depth and richness that he starts out low and slow two whole octaves ago. The power of his voice and his control blows my mind.

And it's not just my mind. It's everyone's mind.

This band has opened this very old song to a whole new generation who love it in its new form.

What does David Draiman say of this? How did this even happen?

Disturbed's version of Sound of Silence is analyzed a million times by vocal specialists on YouTube but none so thoroughly as Fil Henley of Pegasus. Fil is not hearing it for the first time. He's already seen this video. Honestly, Fil states right off that the Conan version they're using has Autotune applied to it automatically by industry standard. A shame, Fil explains, because Draiman's voice is so rich with nuances and so incredibly well-practiced over years. The Autotune really bothers Fil and I never even heard it.  The things that Fil does with his own voice to explain to us what Autotune does is delightful. This is what makes Fil the best.

Obviously the kids are going to use such a dynamic song that is so incredibly easy to sign with repeated phrases, somewhat, the repeats change, such that signs for phrases can be used different ways connected to other different phrases. They're really cool lyrics. Once you study them you go, "Oh my God, look at what Paul Simon did here." He built the familiar phrase to mean different things as he goes and it's kind of spooky how he inserts it. Muy profundo.

And they are horrible. 

They're all beginners, you know. 

The girls who are not beginners are all such drama queens. 

The dudes overact in an emotional way but not in any way that matches what Draiman is doing with his voice to this very familiar song. They don't restrain where Draiman restrains. They don't strain where Draiman strains, they do not sustain where Draiman sustains his voice, they don't trip through phrases the way Draiman does, and so on, they don't stop on Draiman's stops, and they don't freak out the way Draiman does so clearly with his voice. 

Sign students need drama class. 

There is a lot of acting out involved. 

Here is the best that I saw.

I wish students would do these things as if their signs were making the sounds. Instead of following the music, their signs are making the music. So put every relevant sound-thing in there. Dance it. Become the song. Be a freak. People will laugh. Not because you are so funny, not because you are so melodramatic, rather, because you are so brilliant sliding around conventions to bridge the language of signs to music.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really like this song!


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