The Candidates and Their Voices – Part Two – The Bern

by Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Now to the other lefty, the-old-that-is-new-again, Mr. Sanders or “Feel The Bern” Bernie.

As we know, Bernie is from Brooklyn and boy does he SOUND like it!

I found an interview with him from 1988, when he was mayor of Vermont and not on the campaign trail.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KL8BpbWP7_8

It’s nice to see him more relaxed, though fascinatingly, he is fairly closed-mouthed in this earlier interview, not engaging his top lip much.

When we see him now, he’s more inclined to open his mouth so the overall articulation is more vibrant — it could be because though he’s been singing the same song for nearly years, now the stakes are high and he’s more emphatic.

Here’s one of the recent Young Turk interviews:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggFitmOTSok

Overall these days his voice is often tired, like Hil’s because of the grueling campaign trail, where I’m sure hydration and sleep fall by the wayside. You wouldn’t believe how important SLEEP is for your vocal and overall health, people — tis true!

Of course I can’t talk to you about Bernie without highlighting his famous pronunciation of HUGE (he says, “YOOJ” without the H). This is typical Brooklyn-ese and his parents were from Poland I believe so you’ve got the immigrant influence here too.

Here’s a HUGE collage for your pleasure:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9V3-GAsMEHQ

It’s because of his upbringing in Brooklyn, and even though he’s been in VT for years, he’s held on to his roots, which like Hil’s mid-west thang, Bern’s New Yorker white-ish/blue-ish tinted collar speech endears him to the non-one-percenters.

I also think the depth of his tone, (he’s a baritone hovering around C below middle C, unless he’s shouting then it’s a bit higher) is quite paternal and comforting without being harsh or threatening, and it seems like we got a lotta youngsters out there who need a gentle daddy figure.

I’d say, if I were called in to coach The Bern, “breathe” and when the voice is tired, you need to warm-up quietly and place the tone slightly higher and buzzier during the warm-up so when the heat is on you don’t get too scratchy.

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