Good Vibrations

Continuing on with FanstRAvaganza. Hope you hang with me. There’s another surprise if you do. :D

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I assume almost everyone who reads my blog is a fan of Richard Armitage, the actor, but occasionally people who are serious about politics land here looking for some bit of information on the guy who supposedly outed Valerie Plame. I’m sure other RA bloggers have experienced something similar. One visitor in particular, whom I’ll call Tory, was looking for an article about the U.S. State Department official and clicked on the ‘Who the Hell is Richard Armitage?’ post. Her first instinct was to back out, but curiosity got the better of her, and she ended up listening to clips from ‘North and South’ but never made it past those as she was so anxious to load it up on YouTube to watch the whole thing. She is now a fan. LOL! Eventually she sent me a note to share what happened to her, and several weeks ago I asked her to record something for me. She declined as she really is in politics and doesn’t want to make her fascination known. But she gave me permission to share some of her words:

I was just curious enough to press play on the first clip, and then he uttered, “I will be home to dress…” That was the moment I became fascinated. I viewed the entire clip but kept going back to the conversation with his mother. I have never been mad about someone’s voice, but I’m in love with his voice. I’m in love with him! When I knew I was ‘in the bag’ as you say, was listening to the radio play, ‘Clarissa.’ I cannot stomach the book. I cannot stand Lovelace, and I think I despise Clarissa more. Despite this loathing, I willingly sat through a four hour adaptation in hopes of hearing Richard’s Lovelace.

Phew! He does that whisper in his voice to perfection.

For those who have not read nor are familiar with Clarissa, it’s considered to be one of the first novels. Some say it was the first, but I don’t think that’s quite the case. I could be wrong about that. Perhaps one of our resident teachers/librarians will weigh in. Despite its standing in classical literature, I also hate that book! Clarissa is so put upon and silly that it’s hard to really root for her, and this goes on for around 1000 pages. Sheer torture. But as Tory put it, “The best part of the play is hearing Richard Armitage sing!”

When I first heard he was musical and involved professionally in musical theater and before ‘Clarissa’ was produced in 2010, I had been wondering if he could sing, and love or hate Clarissa, it was so worth finally knowing he could. One of the real benefits is that I became a rabid Radio 4 listener. I’m so sorry I did not have the pleasure before. More on this here.

Whether RA could sing or not, from my first introduction to him in early 2008, I wondered what quality it was in his voice that so fascinated me. It took me over a year to pinpoint. Thankfully, in 2009 I decided to stop writing all of my journal entries and record some of them. This helped me capture the thoughts that eluded me when I finally had a pencil in hand. I also quickly obtained some voice to text software so I wouldn’t have to hear myself while transcribing. LOL! Here’s an entry from August of that year:

It’s a wonderful thing about voices…. I was just listening to Sylvester, and I don’t even like those kinds of books….they’re boring, syrupy and talk about Mary Sue?….they’re replete with it. But you know (chuckle), I just love listening to it because of the range Richard Armitage has….It’s finally dawned on me what I really love about his voice. It’s the same thing I love about [SO’s] voice and my son’s voice……there’s a melody in their voices, a song, a possibility. They always seem on the verge of breaking into a song or making a joke……or something. SO can’t sing and my son can’t sing, and I’m not sure if Richard Armitage can sing, but they all share that song in their voices. I don’t mean they sound sing songy but rather the modulation of their voices gives an expectation. And…it’s usually hopeful. I love that.

Yes, I was a bit harsh about Sylvester, but my friends, that’s how I felt. That aside, it’s the expectation in his voice that makes me come back over and over again to hear him. If it were just the deep timbre of his voice, I really could get that from Alan Rickman and so many others. But it’s something way beyond his vocal register, and it was so interesting to hear RA’s take on how he thinks of music and the voice and how he actually used music and in particular singing to help him craft his characters for the audio books! From his interview for The Convenient Marriage:

I always love hearing him talking about his preparation! I also have a soundtrack in my head. Almost everything in life is put to music; it’s a rare day when I don’t put everything to a rhythm. I wonder if this happens naturally with everyone. I really don’t know, but I do know that sometimes this is a curse for me. I wonder if that happens to RA.

If you’re enjoying this, don’t forget to enter the Heyer audio book giveaway. Details here.

Oh, and Tory hasn’t heard that interview clip, and I don’t think she’s seen the picture either. So I’m sure I’ll be hearing from her later. LOL!!

And she and I have come to realize that we not only agree about Clarissa and our fascination for RA but have quite a few things in common including some people we know. It’s been such a treat to get to know her, and she’s far from the only person with whom I’ve been developing friendships due to RA. So many of you I’ve had such pleasure coming to know! One in particular is always so pleasant and encouraging, and her joy is contagious. I wonder sometimes if she realizes what a delight she is. Iz4blue (aka Sinjoor):

Yeah, this is totally cool, and it really is all about the love. So well put.

Iz originally hails from Antwerp, Belgium; we’ve just had the privilege of her being part of the U.S. for the last several years.

By the way, she really does know how to ferret out some of the best videos and fan fiction, and there are so many that it’s good to have a guide. She has worked with Eva over at Wattpad to create an Armitage Fan Club, and it’s a great place to find fan fiction. The best thing about it is how easily it can be accessed from a phone, and for those of us on the go (whether we want to be or not), it’s a boon. Iz has also started a blog where she can bring all of the other good vibrations to our attention easily. With the publication of Sexy Back 3, maybe a top ten of RA montage videos? :D

RA Audio clips courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.Com and RichardArmitageCentral. Thank you, thank you, ladies for all that you do! I could not have done this post without you.

Screencap courtesy of RichardArmitageNet.Com.


  1. Okay, that’s a great story about how she stumbled on this site and became a fan! *claps*

  2. And maybe a little scary how small a world it is. We really do know some people in common. LOL!

  3. Yeah, Iz,

    Good to hear you finally!! You are a great cheerleader for RA and for RA fans’ creativity. And yes, it’s great making friends all over the planet due to RA.
    I always have a soundtrack in my head, too, I often sing quietly to myself at work. Can’t imagine life without music (Lucas’s comment in Spooks 9 still breaks my heart :( )

    And frankly, I cannot resist BBB (that would be Big Bad Bob) in Clarissa even if he is an utter rotter. So I made him over LOL Richard seduced me with that voice of his . . .

    Even if he decided to give up acting on screen or stage, there is absolutely no reason he couldn’t make a living with audiobooks, voice-overs and narrations. That is one amazing voice.

  4. Oh, and I forgot to mention, “Good, good, good, good vi-bray-tions . . .” is now playing in my head. Good thing I like the Beach Boys! LOL

  5. Thank you for that audio interview with RA and music! I HAD heard it, but it was buried in memory depths. (Think some more RAMs or whatever are required for better information retrieval…)

    The lovely thing about this, and the other RA blogs is the international participation. Thus far, I count four continents involved. OH yes, and then there’s the Russia blog. Not precisely a continent, but close.

  6. Fitz, you need something like 4shared, so you can have your own copy, play it, but it’s not all on your hard drive.

  7. Angie, I can’t function unless I’m moving to a beat. LOL!

  8. Did some checking. Richardson’s Pamela preceded Clarissa and has the honour of being considered “The first English novel”. Ought to have remembered as an English grad and librarian! But there, a few RAMs of memory have gone missing since turning 45. I do remeber 45. Vaguely…

  9. Wonderful, that FanstRAvaganza continues with such lovely sound analysis and examples. I love IZ’s voice and her way to explain the unexplainable ;o)

  10. I remember reading that Clarissa was considered the first epistolary novel. And that Richardson revised a second edition of it after being alarmed by how many young ladies were swooning over Big Bad Bob, not what he intended. So he made him nastier . . . and then RA came along and I got totally sucked in.

  11. Thanks Frenz and Angie ;-) it’s usually the latest vid I’m into that runs in my head. (so you’ll know WHAT that will .. Boom .. Boom .. )
    must give some credit to Nat; when she ended her ChRistmAs cARol last year with “..and Giz tied to a tree!!!” I KNEW there was fun to be had here!! And I slowly came out of my shyness :-)

  12. Thanks, Fitz. I knew I could count on you. :D


    I’ve still got to read your makeover fic. I’m on “spring break” this week, so I’ll get in some reading. Not as much I would like though.

  13. Iz,

    Amazing how so many of us have come out of our shyness due to this fandom, isn’t it? *giggle* Oh, if the people who know me in my respected and, dare I say, well-loved smalltown journalist persona only knew . . . there’s a whole other side of this old girl! (apparently, my Auntie Mame side, right, Frenz?)


    I never seem to find enough time to do all the reading I want to do. I was re-reading Jane Austen and then got side-tracked on Mary Stewart (I blame Fitzg for that, BTW *wink*)
    But at least ” Lovelace” is MUCH shorter (by at least 20 chapters) than ” Truce” aka The Porter Fan Fic That Refuses to Go Quietly Into That Good Night . . . which is finally done. Whew!

  14. Thanks for letting us hear you iz4blue :). A politician found your blog, Frenz …. and became a fan ?! It is a small world indeed :)

  15. @Mulubinba,

    That Richard L. Armitage connection does make strange things happen. I’m sure I’m not the only RA blogger who’s had a politician or politico look at her site. Oh, and “Tory” doesn’t hold an office, but she might one day. LOL! I’m still shocked we know someone in common, but then I don’t know why I’m shocked. I think November Bride and I may know some people in common too.

    @Angie, Definitely Mame! and you and I might find out we’re related. :D BTW, have I ever told you I’m related to the author of that poem? LOL! Distantly but some relation. Of course Thomas is like Smith in Wales. ROFLOL!

  16. Frenz,

    Ah well, now that you mention it, I AM related to some Thomases here in our area through my grandmother Ida Belle’s people. Of course, I am related to probably half the population in our area. Ol’ sutthun roots, you understand. :D I have a lot of family in Texas . . . that would be cool if we were related!!

  17. […] Since we’re talking about the voice here, go check out Frenzy’s latest voice on The Voice. […]

  18. Actually, both my parents were from another state. My brother and I are the first Texans from our family line. My parents were from Arkansas.

  19. Oh, I probably have people there, too, We get around. *grin*

  20. Oh, I have people down there where you are too. :D All around you!

    But probably the one I’m closest to (my first cousin) lives in Vicksbuhg, and her house has been featured in Southern Living several times, and she’s never let any of us forget it. LOL!

  21. Ah, now I am intrigued. :D One of the granddaughters of the Hardins, the people who owned the paper where I work before selling it to Boone (it was in the same family for 130 years and had the same editor for 70 years. Not sure how much editing the general was doing at 90, though) worked at Southern Living for a while. I loved hearing the stories about how they set up the food porn shots. Milk has glue in it, the turkey is shellacked and so forth LOL But it looks good in print! The quarterly mag we are doing now is patterned somewhat after SL. I get to write up the descriptions of the houses featured and it is considered quite a coup to be chosen . . . actually our downtown was featured in there a couple of years ago for places to visit on daytrips.

  22. Great to hear your voice, Iz!!

  23. Iz4blue! Wonderful to hear your voice :)

    I love his voice. I’m listening to Venetia in my car on my commute to work at the moment and it’s so easy to be mesmerized by his voice and transported to another world.

  24. May have to consider a carefully proportioned diet of RA audios. Soon. Hubs misunderstood a goofy grin plastered across my ancient face as I listened to the last few minutes of Sylvester in the car the other day. He was sure goofy grin=romantic thoughts. I am sooo busted. May have to give up audios in daylight. Would it be weird if I listen in the closet? Or wrong? Good grief, what is happening to me…..

  25. Thanks for all the sugar!
    @NB the closet is still better than another place one resides in several times a day for brief periods. It’s been noticed too that I disappear and come back with a grin .. Always RA related not necessarily by him though. For awhile first thing AM when all was quiet my first sound
    would be Lords of the North recording *sigh*
    I did take a little break from audiobooks & narrations & even interviews but have yet to listen to the Convenient marriage again.

  26. Deb, you are cracking me up! LOL! I feel a blog post coming on. : D

  27. Hi Fanny! Good to hear from you. You do great work bringing many amazing talents to our attention! Thanks :)

  28. I love how he talks about his work because he always speaks with such enthusiasm. I think as a musician RA has a particular sensitivity to the processing and transmission of sound
    I admit that when I first heard as RA singing, I giggled like a little girl. (yes I know, it may seem not too serious from my side but for the excuse I can say that I haven’t read yet Clarissa). Then it occurred to me that this is the song of R. Lovelace (not of R. Armitage ) and RA has to sing differently when shaved or takes a shower (and I wonder how?) ;-)

  29. RAF,

    Your post’s title caused that Beach Boys song to stay in my head, thus forcing me to purchase the MP3 file, leading to me making yet another video. “Harry & Gerri: Good Vibrations.” You are only helping feed this vidding habit, ya know. LOL

  30. Ania,

    OK, NOW you’ve got me envisioning RA singing in the shower while he lathers up *gulp* . . . not really the image I need to have in my head at the moment. ;)

    He mentioned at some point he liked listening to The Black-Eyed Peas, so I am imagining him singing “I’ve got a feeling . . . that tonight’s gonna be a good night . . .”

  31. Angie
    I had in mind ONLY his singing *giggles*

  32. Ania,

    Just teasing. The problem is– I love the man wet. So any mention of showers . . . *sigh* It is a great place to sing, though. Love the acoustics!

  33. Ania, If you had any idea how active my imagination is, you wouldn’t say things like that to me. :D Um, yeah, RA singing while showering and shaving. ………………………………
    Wait. Wait. That’s all good unless he goes into My Humps. If he does, I don’t even want to know! LOL! I ‘m laughing but I’m serious. Hate that song. I like your choice better.

    Maybe I’ll imagine him singing ‘Good Vibrations. ;-)

  34. Angie and Ania, we crossposted, but yeah, the power of suggestion, well, it doesn’t take much suggestion where he’s concerned. LOL!

  35. Frenz,

    I so hate “My Humps” too. Very annoying song to me. I keep telling myself I hate Ke$ha, too, and yet her songs get stuck in my head. *sigh* We are about to use “I Gotta Feeling” for our arts council fundraiser and Benny is going to shoot a video of people all over town lip-synching to the song which will be played during the opening of the show. So It’s been on my mind. :D

  36. This puts My Humps in perspective. ROFLOL!!!!!!! Love this:

  37. Frenz,
    “Good Vibrations” great choice, that’s what I imagine OMG *thud *

  38. I completely forgot about this Alanis video! LOL


    I have to say Mr. A also gives me “excitations” just like the old Beach Boys song says. :D

  39. I didn’t know that Alanis Morissette singing My Humps. nice to hear it-thanks

  40. In my haste to try to get caught up, I missed Iz4blue’s recording. Love love that wonderful accent! Although I thought it would sound “heavier”? Do you find that after you go home to Belgium, you come back with accent more pronounced?! All it takes for me is week back home and my family groans on my return…i hurt their ears! Whatever…fool around with me, and I’ll just go home and STAY. Put that in your pipe and smoke it gang!

    But you are absolutely correct Iz…the friends we find here and at the other blogs are the real payoff! Let me know when the date is set for FanstravHomecoming Festival….and where. I’ll be there with bells on my toes! =0)

    Disclaimer: ok ok, no festival planned, but we can dream?

  41. […] check out Frenz’s F2 voices — you can also hear Judi (of Confessions of a Watcher), hear iz4blue / Sinjoor / Fanny (of DistRActed Musings), hear Frenz herself (a big deal, since I gather she has a love / hate […]

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