David Archuleta Retrospective Series Part 22 – Broken

By Pamela Pike and Rosanne Simunovic

Pamela Pike’s Recollections

As their sun sets, fear rises in Africa.

Broken” written by Jon Hunt and David Archuleta aims to draw attention to the devastation of a lost generation of children in a long civil war in Africa being abducted, used as soldiers and slaves.

Jon Hunt, a lyricist, went to junior high and high school with David and both feel so much for these children and through their original music they are trying to bring awareness and hope. Music has a necessary part in social awareness; it’s a language we all can understand.

In this song David is able to capture the fear and sadness, but also the hope these children may have. Broken is uplifting, calming and haunting and although the lyrics and subject matter are extremely sad, the overall feel and tone is actually hopeful.

Stripping away lush strings sounds we have a piano and voice; with a soul wrenching vocal journey through this song that touches your heart. It’s hard to celebrate the superb performance when you are lost in such profound sadness but David’s gentle and pained demeanor is as powerful as the overwhelming sadness of these abused children.

His beautiful sound is enhanced by his appropriate touch at the piano; his clear communication went straight to our heart leaving us stunned by his vocal beauty.

The composition gels well with the mood and lyrics, which touch your emotions. His voice sounds amazing as ever – beautiful and arresting – that burrows deeply in the heart and mind. His gift of song heals the soul.

How inspiring to see David Archuleta and Jon Hunt embrace these children and help create awareness for a positive influence.

Thank you for this beautiful song!

Rosanne Simunovic’s Recollections

Broken was written by David Archuleta and Jon Hunt, in an effort to bring greater awareness to the horrendous plight and suffering endured by children around the world. It is a simple, heartfelt melody – yet it remains in my mind long after the song ends.

David’s use of his angelic head voice during this number adds a sense of poignancy and vulnerability to the emotional core of this song. I could listen to him vocalize ascending and descending scales forever! His voice is seamless and perfectly centred. Just beautiful!

At the 3:12 mark, a smile formed on my face while watching David sustain his vocal line with a more resounding purpose. His head voice is at the core of his vocal delivery but, with the added muscle of his chest voice, we are treated to a gorgeous, more passionate moment in this number.

And, technically, does it get much better than this? The round mouth, the relaxed jaw, the openness of his facial features – all of these elements contribute to the beauty, depth and richness of his voice.

While listening to the fullness of his voice during the latter half of this song, I couldn’t help but appreciate the contrast between the pure, soft head voice in the earlier portion of this song. David fully understands the importance of nuance in his vocal performances. It adds depth and dimension to the expressive delivery of this or any song.

As David conveys in this beautiful song, these courageous children are “broke but not broken“. And it is up to all of us to make certain that we can mend the cracks in our society which have led to this horrendous level of suffering and sorrow around the world.

Certainly, through music, we can delve deeper and discover the peace for which we are all striving and share it – somehow, somewhere – with the rest of the world.

Thank you David and Jon for composing such a beautiful and timely number.

The full version of Broken is available on iTunes.

About Masterclass Lady

Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

7 Responses to “David Archuleta Retrospective Series Part 22 – Broken”

  1. Thanks so much Pam and Masterclass Lady. I get a huge lump in my throat every time I hear this song. It sure makes you think of the children who are living such a unfair and frightening life. David and Jon are a great team. You guys always put into words what I feel, but I don’t have the music knowledge to say. A question for you Rosanne… I see people on Youtube, etc. making reference to David’s breathing. I don’t notice it until someone brings it to my attention. Then I do hear him taking breaths. Do you think that has anything to do with his paralyzed vocal chord? It doesn’t bother me at all, but I know it is a problem for some people.


  2. Every time I hear this song I get shivers up my spine… a beautiful song filled with meaning.


  3. David has such a lovely voice, and his personal comments mean so much. Such a kind and sensitive young man.


  4. Joelhss..awestruck & Kariann
    Feeling such emotions with song too and David voice give us great meaning.
    Thanks so much for your comments!


  5. Thank you so much everyone. And a Happy New Year to all. I am just now getting back to normal after having such a busy, fun-filled Christmas. Love the memories this season creates for all of us.

    This song moved me immensely and David’s voice is such a treasure. Like Christmas every day when I hear him.

    Joel – I believe his breathing is affected by his vocal paralysis. However, I do wonder sometimes if he is breathing deeply enough from the diaphragm. It is hard to assess when we are not In the same room. Nevertheless, his phrasing and his control remains unaffected by this problem. Sometimes singers find their own technique but these singers are rare – like David.


  6. MCL&Pam-What a masterpiece this song is! I had never heard of Invisible Children until I knew of David’s association with the wonderful cause. What horrific things those children have been enduring. I’m so proud of David and also Jon for writing such a song to make awareness of these children. This is also one of the most gorgeous recordings of David’s voice I have ever heard….takes my breath away!!


  7. By the way, thanks for your articles Rosanne and Pam!


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