Saturday, July 5, 2014

spirityouall: Bobby McFerrin et al.

Today I am taking it upon myself to blog earlier in the day rather than late in the day, when, well, it's almost the next day! (And I am linking the site just in case the video ever somehow disappears as can happen,

Please note that though I realize this is a somewhat lengthy video, it is worth watching and listening to in its entirety if possible. I recommend at the least to fast forward at different points to get a range of Bobby McFerrin experience, including and especially his interview.

How many of you have heard of or better yet heard or attended (preferably) a concert by Bobby McFerrin? You're probably well-versed with "Don't Worry, Be Happy", his hit song in 1988. If you haven't already, I highly recommend that you run, not walk to your nearest Ticketmaster or wherever you purchase tickets from, unless you do so online. You won't regret it!

Witnessing, seeing, hearing, experiencing Bobby in person is a totally different experience or phenomenon. After all, he can sing a range of four octaves as well as two tones at the same time, known as overtones. I'm sure there are others who can do the same though I have only heard one thus far, Jerry DesVoignes. (More about him and overtones another time.)

I felt a very strong impulse that I was (meant) to attend Bobby McFerrin's spirityouall concert two weekends ago when he came as part of Vancouver, BC's Jazz Festival. My, home time flies! I had wanted to blog about him shortly after that.

As I am typing here - my preference over handwriting (read my blog post from two days ago, June 30th as to one reason why) - I am listening with "new ears" to Medicine Music, Bobby's CD from 1990 (yes, you read that right).

I say that because that concert in a sense opened my ears up to a new way of listening. I witnessed with my eyes and ears the phenomenal approaches/techniques/modalities (whatever you prefer to call it) that Bobby utilizes with his God-given instruments of not only his voicebox, but also his body (which is why I suggest a concert).

No wonder the Chicago Tribune describes him as follows, "There are essentially two categories of singers in the world: McFerrin and everybody else." And similarly, from this weblink where I got the above quote, is another such kudo: "10-time Grammy winner Bobby McFerrin blurs the lines between popular music and high art, inspiring a whole new generation of a cappella singers and the beatbox movement."

I had heard of beatboxing and witnessed it a few years ago when a man was doing so at a musical performance in his home (more about him later in a future posting). I got up quite close to him to truly see and hear him: I was not only fascinated, I was hooked! Well, not in a way that I was to do it - I wish I knew how I could though (can I?) - but I absolutely love the wonder, the mystery, and varied sounds that the body can amazingly produce.

You can check out my April 4th blog post here to see another Vancouver beatboxer named Shamik at a TedTalk, to experience this.

Truly, if I knew how to beatbox and/or hip hop, I think I might be on a street, corner or otherwise, and perform. It is so magical and rhythmic and fun. Besides I love to dance/move/groove and my hands move intuitively, spontaneously, magically anyway.

Upon leaving the joyous, fun-loving, heart-opening and heart-expanding, Bobby McFerrin concert, I heard this beautiful rhythm that called me to where this young man, Rafael Casal and two others were performing with their beatboxing/hip hop/performance poetry, together and individually.

How does beatboxing and other rhythmic sounds make you feel when you hear them? How do their sounds resonate in your body?


  1. I love Bobby McFerrin's music and think one of his concerts would be amazing! He has extraordinary control of his voice to beatbox and make music the way he does.


    1. Yes, his concert was amazing 'cause he's amazing. I forgot to mention that he had a pretty amazin' band too! ;) Hope you get a chance to see him in concert. <3