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Karen's Magic

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by no1kandrfan, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. no1kandrfan

    no1kandrfan Active Member Thread Starter

    Came across this today - love the quote on Karen:
    UCLA musicologist Mitchell Morris:

    You extensively analyze Karen Carpenter, but if you had to describe the essence of her appeal, what would it be?

    She had a beautiful voice, and she was an incredibly talented singer. That, we can just stipulate. But what was really interesting is how her voice was positioned within the envelope of the sound. She was miked very close. You don’t hear just pitches. You hear all of the noise produced when the mechanics of your face work to make sound. You hear breaths. You hear those weird little noises that the mouth makes when it’s just trying to form words. There are only two contexts in which you hear those sounds -- during nurturing when you’re a child and during physical intimacy. That’s the only time that people’s mouths are that close to your ear. So, in effect, every Karen Carpenter performance is a profoundly intimate kind of thing.

    Full Article:
    UCLA musicologist defends singers from the sappy '70s
  2. actcrna

    actcrna Member

    A very well put perspective. As someone (RC) once said... She had a phonogenic voice that was meant to be recorded.
    no1kandrfan likes this.
  3. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I’ve never thought about it that way before but it’s absolutely true.
    no1kandrfan likes this.
  4. Tony

    Tony Active Member

    This book has been on my radar for a while now, and reading the quote in the opening post (and the interview it came from), prompted me to go ahead and buy the book. Thanks!
    no1kandrfan likes this.
  5. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Part of Karen's appeal (for me) was her honesty on how she sang. There's was no grand posturing like so many others.
    no1kandrfan likes this.
  6. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Even by 1981, when Karen was quizzed in interviews about her vocal style and how it came about, she almost shrugged it off as if she didn’t know or it wasn’t a major thing. Not many artists nowadays would be so self effacing.
    no1kandrfan likes this.
  7. David A

    David A Active Member

    I think it was 'Little Girl Blue' where Karen is quoted as saying that she was asked by other performers how she prepared her voice for singing, and she replied "I open my mouth, and the voice comes out". Her gift was so natural, and I think that contributes to the intimate sound she has. No extensive training or "technique".
    no1kandrfan likes this.
  8. This thread title would make a good album title...
    no1kandrfan and Sabar like this.
  9. no1kandrfan likes this.
  10. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Along the lines of Karen's Magic,
    March 9, 2018,
    Steve Martin:
    " I’ll tell you something, Marty is a fantastic singer. toured with the Carpenters in the ’70s
    and I watched Karen Carpenter night after night. Whether you like her music or not, she was a genius.
    She never missed a note, she was never flat, she was never sharp, she was always perfect. "

    Steve Martin and Martin Short: 'Like going fishing'
    no1kandrfan, David A and newvillefan like this.
  11. Karen's magic? She had all the qualities typical of great singers: pitch, diction, phrasing, and feeling. But what sets her apart among the great singers is her tone. I've never been able to describe it in words. Warm, sensual, angelic are all accurate descriptions, but inadequate. I think the best way to say it is that I experience great singers in my ears, and occasionally in the heart. But Karen massages my heart just about every time she sings.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  12. aFan_1990

    aFan_1990 New Member

    Hi I'm new here. I've been visiting this site since January this year and I just decided to create my own account.

    Anyway.. with Karen's Magic? I think it's her VOICE.
    Geographer likes this.
  13. David A

    David A Active Member

    Welcome, @aFan_1990 ! There's lots to read and discuss here, about all things Carpenters.

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