Journal from Oct 16, 2001

Tuesday, October 16, 2001
8:58 am

My hearing aid still isn’t ready yet. Well, the aid is, but they’re still waiting on the mold. This annoys me highly. 10-14 days. Yeah, whatever!

Anyway, I had a fabulous night last night. Let me start with a little background. Ever since I was a young kid, there was this musician that I just thought was the coolest guy. His voice just gave me a fabulous feeling. I was instantly happy the moment I heard him. His name is Dennis DeYoung, who you probably know from the rock band Styx. Well, anyway, I joined the Styx internet list way back in it’s beginning days in 1995 or so. In 1997, Dennis produced a musical, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, in Nashville and a bunch of us from the list decided to go. So I maxed out my credit cards (being a poor college student at the time) and had the time of my life. (This is also where I met Barry for those of you playing along at home). I had Dennis’ cd of the musical for about a year and a half before the production occurred, and there was this one song, Ave Maria, that always just made me melt. Something about it just gave me the best feeling in the world whenever I heard it. Now, on the CD, Dennis sings both parts and is just fabulous, but it’s kinda weird because he’s doing a duet with himself. In the stage version, we see Father Frollo and Quasimodo singing it. Well, Frollo was this fabulous actor named James Barbour, who I’d been fortunate enough to see in Les Mis one of the billion times I’d seen it, so I was familiar with him. Quasimodo, on the other hand, was played by a guy I’d never heard of before named Mike Eldred. I was totally in awe of this guy. He instantly joined Dennis on the list of “men whose voice make Ali totally melt and become insanely happy” (I would include Colm Wilkinson and Michael Ball on that list as well).

Last night when I got home from work, there was a package waiting for me full of Mike’s new CD. I ordered it from him knowing full well that I wasn’t going to be able to hear it very well, but I couldn’t NOT support his work. I was almost scared to listen to it. Afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to enjoy it. This is the first “new” CD I’ve tried to listen to since I lost my> hearing in August. Sure, I’ve listened to music, and enjoyed it, and sang along, and even sang with my accompaniment tapes and cd, but I haven’t tried to listen to anything I hadn’t heard as a hearing person.

It is amazing. Everyone needs to hear this CD. Even as a deaf person, I think it’s one of the best works I’ve ever heard. Barry and I turned it on and I laid down on the floor (the sound is slightly better when it comes from above me for some reason). Suddenly “Ave Maria” came on, with Mike and Dennis singing it, and I was incredibly happy. I felt like I did before I suffered this loss. I know the song so well and it’s so powerful and their voices are so angelic that I was just floating on air. I am SO glad that I still have the capacity to enjoy music in this way. It’s always been my passion and the thing that I live for, and now I know that it’s still possible. So, thank you, Dennis and Mike, for giving me a renewed hope.

Now, I will admit there are some flaws. The orchestrations are still very muddled to me and the bass will overpower the treble too much. I couldn’t> understand the words in the songs I don’t know. It’s still frustrating. Maybe a lyric sheet would help me with that. Ideally, I’d like to have the sheet music in front of me so I can follow along measure by measure. I intend on doing that for the next “new” CD I hear…it will be the musical> “Working”, which I intend to audition for. I’ll have both the music and the CD, so I can’t imagine I won’t be able to follow it.

I will sing again, and I will enjoy music again.
I recognize that things are different, but I can adjust.
One way or another, I will be able to enjoy such wonderful things.

And now, to buy this fabulous CD, go to: Mike’s website

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