Singing Lohrey’s praises

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - BOOKS - WAR­REN BREWER

THE pres­ti­gious Pa­trick White Award recog­nises highly creative and di­verse con­tri­bu­tions to Aus­tralian lit­er­a­ture.

The Singing Cure, by last year’s win­ner, Tas­ma­nian author Amanda Lohrey, has ob­vi­ously ticked all the boxes.

Lohrey has an ex­tra­or­di­nary abil­ity to visit the com­mon­place and re­veal new lev­els of un­der­stand­ing.

The process is so sub­tle read­ers may be un­aware of it.

On refl ec­tion, it is one of the skills of a mas­ter teacher – and this, of course, is Lohrey’s fi rst pro­fes­sion.

This foren­sic- like skill is also read­ily ap­par­ent in her pre­vi­ous work, but to ap­ply it to The Singing Cure is a com­plete sur­prise. But it works.

We shouldn’t be sur­prised, as many re­cently would have seen 90,000 Liver­pool soc­cer fans lustily singing You’ll Never Walk Alone at the MCG.

In the words of a sports jour­nal­ist: “It was a once- in- a- life­time, spinet­in­gling sound never to be for­got­ten.”

Such is the mys­te­ri­ous po­tency of song.

Lohrey points out singing has its ori­gins in primeval lan­guage. When the or­ganic sound is made with­out con­straints or in­hi­bi­tions, no mat­ter how crude, the im­pact on the singer is pro­found.

There is a re­lease of en­dor­phins that ex­cite the emo­tions and stim­u­late the body and mind.

It is more pow­er­ful when the voice is tuned and struc­tured as an in­stru­ment.

Lohrey chats di­rectly about her ex­pe­ri­ences with pro­fes­sion­als in the area.

The uni­ver­sal­ity of singing and its mul­ti­plic­ity of pur­poses are ex­plored, es­pe­cially where the author’s per­sonal in­volve­ment has come into play.

Singing is de­ployed with great ef­fect for re­li­gious, ed­u­ca­tional, cul­tural, eco­nomic, po­lit­i­cal and, as the ti­tle sug­gests, even med­i­cal pur­poses. It can save your life.

This is thor­oughly re­searched and bril­liantly writ­ten in a warm­ing un­pre­ten­tious style.

Its for­mat reads like an ex­tended let­ter with diary- like in­clu­sions.

Be­neath its rather dull ex­te­rior is a read­ing gem.

The Singing Cure is avail­able through the Ho­bart Book­shop for $ 10, or on­line at book­, or spir­i­tu­al­sto­

AWARD WIN­NER: Author of The Singing Cure, Amanda Lohrey.

THE SINGING CURE Amanda Lohrey Self- pub­lished, 2013 $ 10

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