Looking for great speakers with beautiful, deep, commanding voices.
November 27, 2022 12:40 PM   Subscribe

I'm entranced by the sound of Annie Jacobsen, Laurence Fishburne, Shohreh Aghdashloo, and James Baldwin. Please suggest names/examples of captivating, intelligent orators with deep voices. Non American accents, non-native or non-western speakers are most welcome.

The more obscure/out of the mainstream canon, the better.
posted by fake to Media & Arts (17 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: (especially folks outside of Hollywood)
posted by fake at 12:42 PM on November 27, 2022

Helga Davis, particularly her interview series.
posted by moonmilk at 12:50 PM on November 27, 2022

Eban Moglen's "Snowden and the Future" lecture series meets those criteria, I think.
The link has the lectures in several formats (audio, video, transcribed text) and I found the cadence of his voice sustaining.
posted by Shunra at 2:02 PM on November 27, 2022

BBC announcer and newsreader Neil Nunes - e.g. here's him reading the Shipping Forecast.
posted by offog at 2:56 PM on November 27, 2022 [4 favorites]

David Suzuki. I don't have a clip in mind but I've seen him speak a few times and dang that man's got a voice.
posted by rhooke at 3:16 PM on November 27, 2022

Keith David has done an absolute ton of voice over work, doing the voices for a whole mess of cartoon characters (from Goliath in Gargoyles to the president in Rick and Morty) as well as Ken Burns' documentaries, including the series on Muhammad Ali, and even the intros to Wrestlemania and other WWE events. His is a native speaking, North American accent, so it might not fit the criteria, but the man has a voice of gruff gold, and elevates anything he lends it to.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:45 PM on November 27, 2022 [2 favorites]

Consider Paul Robeson, talking, Othello, singing.
posted by gudrun at 3:56 PM on November 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

The song “A lIfe Forum” by jazz pianist Gerald Clayton features spoken word by poet/playwright/novelist/singer/etc. Carl Hancock Rux. He definitely falls into the list of "captivating, intelligent orators with deep voices."


There are lots of spoken word performances by him on YouTube
posted by jonathanhughes at 7:11 PM on November 27, 2022

Seconding Neil Nunes. When he's doing the Shipping Forecast, it's so comforting.

With a touch of jazz: Ken Nordine's Colors.
posted by Orkney Vole at 2:28 AM on November 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

Jiang Wen, who you might know, employed his voice very effectively in a couple of monologues in Green Tea, a movie he was in with Zhao Wei.

If your Netflix carries Malaysian stuff too, I recommend Jins Shamsuddin (not least because once I interviewed him and having to stay professional while listening to That Voice? Sigh.). I believe Bukit Kepong is available. M. Nasir as well, in Puteri Gunung Ledang.

But if you don't mind someone back from the early days of Malayan/Singaporean film industry, anything with P. Ramlee. His movies are mostly on YT, (like this one) and back in the day, movies from Cathay and Shaw Brothers would have hard coded English subtitles as well. He's so iconic an entire generation of men followed his speech patterns, it felt like.
posted by cendawanita at 6:16 AM on November 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

Alan Rickman
posted by Enid Lareg at 6:48 AM on November 28, 2022 [2 favorites]

Richard Burton reciting “the greatest poem in the English language.”
posted by johngoren at 7:07 AM on November 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

Geoffrey Holder
Robert Mitchum
posted by brujita at 10:53 AM on November 28, 2022

Don Cornelius, Barry White, Celia Cruz

Also, I just gotta add that both Neil Nunes and Alan Rickman have not just deep voices, but a kind of resonance? timbre? that is mesmerizing. (I do not have the right vocabulary for what makes those voices stick rent-free in my head)
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 4:29 PM on November 28, 2022

Response by poster: I did say "deep" but I think your sense of timbre is more of what I'm after, for me deeper tones and timbres resonate more.

This is NSFW but spoken word artist and poet Nicole Blackman also fits the bill. I did not put her in the original question because I couldn't find a good SFW recording.

I would very much welcome more suggestions if anybody has any, especially women's voices and voices with accents.

Also thanks, all, I've listened to everyone suggested here.
posted by fake at 4:57 PM on November 28, 2022

Geoff Castelluci
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 9:03 PM on December 18, 2022

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