I was reading a post today on a blog called Smorgasbord — Variety is the Spice of Life and Sally was writing about a jazz series and talking about the music of Roberta Flack and that of William Price King. About King, she said
. . . his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.
I thought that was a lovely description and it reminded me of a passage in a book I’m reading called The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. (Review coming next week. I find I’m really enjoying historical fiction these days.)
It is so beautifully written I thought I’d share it with you. I think you’ll like it. It’s about a little-known Old Testament girl named Dinah who was born to Leah (by Jacob) at about the same time as Joseph was born to Rachel (also by Jacob). Dinah is little more than a footnote in the Bible/Old Testament, the only daughter born of Jacob alongside 12 brothers, but she is the narrator of her own story here and that of her family. You may remember that Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him and sold him into slavery. Before that happened, Jacob returned with his wives, children, and flocks to the land from which he had fled, to meet his brother Esau and try to patch things up with him. Around the fire at night, the women of Esau’s tribe began to sing, and Dinah says:
Their song was unlike anything I’d ever heard, and the hair on the back of my neck stood on end, as though Joseph were tickling me with a stalk of grass. But when I turned to rebuke him, I saw that he sat by our father’s side, his eyes shining and fixed upon the singers. They sang the words in unison, yet somehow created a web of sound with their voices. It was like hearing a piece of fabric woven with all the colors of a rainbow. I did not know that such beauty could be formed by the human mouth. I had never heard harmony before.
When they finished, I discovered tears in my eyes and saw that Zilpah’s cheeks were wet, too. Bilhah’s lips were parted in admiration, and Rachel’s eyes were closed to listen with perfect attention.
Beautiful! You can almost imagine the music floating around you in the still night air as stars sparkle and sparks from the fire reach up to join them. Close your eyes and soak it in. Then go to Smorgasbord and listen to Roberta Flack.