Singing Lohrey’s praises
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 booktopia.com.au, thenile.com.au or spiritualstories.net
THE SINGING CURE Amanda Lohrey Self- published, 2013 $ 10