Guglielmo Marconi, inventor and early radio technology pioneer.
Radio producer Tony Kahn once said of an interviewee “She lives in her voice.” What a remarkably succinct way to say how one’s voice communicates more than just the words that are spoken. Cadence, pauses, inflections… all are non-verbal cues about character.
I’m a fan of one non-verbal component of voice in particular — accents. Unfortunately, a great homogenization of accents has occurred on radio. It’s rare, it seems, to hear regional accents whether its news reporters, program hosts, or djs.
The commentary by Dennis Downey featured on this Saltcast is an exception. Dennis, arguably, “lives in his voice.” Raised in New Bedford and now living on Cape Cod, his accent is refreshing and honest. Take a listen to Dennis’ essay on Marconi and talking on the radio. I’m sure his accent will perk up your ears.
PS – This essay originally appeared on Transom.org.