It was a ten-year veteran of the British stage, Ian Russell, who undertook the difficult task of recording MacKenzie’s Sonnets for Christ the King for imminent publication in audiobook form. The news of Mr. Russell’s appointment came after MacKenziePoet.com completed a lengthy auditioning process eliminating almost 100 candidates.
The poet himself had been searching for “a manly but affable voice capable of transmitting the music of the sonnets while preserving their sense.” This turned out to be a tall order. One revelation emerging from the complicated, online audition process is that decades of crippling modernism within the British theatre have created a dearth of actors capable of verse recitation.
Another discovery was more technical. The so-called “Received English” accent many British actors claim to possess has also eroded due to the incursions of modernism which privileges “low” speech. The elegant accent the world once heard in the voices of John Gielgud and Ernest Milton has been badly deformed by less noble speech habits, such as the articulation of the letter “w” in words like “flower.” Slight departures from the highest and noblest form of Received English were enough to disqualify even some London-born actors. Only Ian Russell offered the authentic euphony associated with England’s gold standard of beautiful speech.
MacKenzie Lyric Poetry LLC joins the ranks of Mr. Russell’s most prominent clients, including Coca Cola, Samsung, Mastercard, Nestlé, and Club Med. The contract with a recognized master of voice recording, who is also an experienced English actor, marks a victory for traditional lyric verse. Mr. Russell’s world-historical recording comes at a time when consumers have rejected modernist so-called “poetry” as unreadable nonsense, a scam promoted by ignorant, out-of-touch elites in failed, self-serving academia. Given the paucity of traditional lyric poets, these recordings make Ian Russell the preeminent voice of lyric poetry today—a singular, but important, distinction.
With such a magnificent recording in the works, traditional lyric verse is about to stage its first historical triumph in over a century.