This week I discovered a new artist: Eva Cassidy. She’s not a youngster, or a newcomer to the creative scene. She can’t be pigeon-holed or limited by genre tags. And you won’t be able to see her in concert. But, thankfully, you can listen to her limited discography online, and that is truly a gift.
The friend who posted a link to Eva Cassidy’s Somewhere Over the Rainbow this week has impeccable taste and is a notable artist herself, so I trusted her recommendation. But I was not expecting the beauty and surprising genius that I heard. I finished listening to Over the Rainbow and searched for more. Eva’s authentic, inner, confident strength was tangible; her musical skill on the guitar, evident. But her voice – clear, gentle, direct – took my breath away. Her use of melody, and its improvisation, drew me in. I can’t get enough.
And it has made me ponder: how do you know greatness or beauty? Are there tangible, clear markers that you can describe as evidence of greatness, or is it intangible, elusive, and personal? Do we sometimes try to articulate tangible markers when the truth that we know is actually intangible?
Esther Lightcap Meek says, “The knowing event itself is living. … It is a rhythmical reciprocity of growing understanding and involvement … [that] in some way transforms the knower and the known.”
Is it possible that a recording of an artist presents itself as the artist in a living, reciprocal dance of knowing? Is it possible that voice transcends presence in communicating beauty? Or does voice become presence? These are deep questions, worthy of contemplation! This week, Eva Cassidy’s artistry, voice, and music have become examples; creative possibilities of the transcendence of knowing.
Listen for yourself! The first playlist includes Cassidy’s music. The second link is a brief overview of her life that aired on ABC 14 years after her death.
Eva Cassidy – You Take My Breath Away
The Eva Cassidy Story – on ABC Nightline