“My whole life is about sound. It’s what makes me tick as a human being” says Evelyn Glennie. These words come from the world’s leading solo female percussionist and is one of the finest artists in the world who feels the music and lives by it.
There is no other better way to jumpstart my day than by sharing with you an amazing talk by Evelyn which continues to inspired me – almost every day. If you love music, I urge you to watch this video.
TED Intro: Evelyn Glennie’s music challenges the listener to ask where music comes from: Is it more than simply a translation from score to instrument to audience? How can a musician who has almost no hearing play with such sensitivity and compassion?
There are moments when we come across a person, an episode or an incident that can have a deep impact on us. This is probably one of those moments in life that really move you. Forget moving, Evelyn Glennie’s performance gave me goose bumps as I watched her TED talk on “How To Listen to Music”.
Not only was her talk amazing but also refreshingly beautiful. It was not about powerpoint visuals but a stage full of percussion instruments, her connection with the audience and total involvement with music – live on the show.
There was something surreal and quaint about Evelyn. The things she talked about and confidence with which she demonstrated the nuances of playing and listening music, had me convinced that Evelyn is is no ordinary soul.
My amazement was more to do with her informative talk itself. It was quite a sight to see a female percussionist, to top that she was performing barefoot, talking a lot of sense and at the same time educating.
It was only after watching her video that I researched more on her. I did not know that Evelyn Glennie was deaf. I am still baffled as to how Evelyn Glennie, like Beethoven, make music she cannot hear?
A brief search about her on the web gives an insight into her year-round worldwide performances, winning Grammys, collecting scooters & bikes, her collection of percussion instruments, and more. Evelyn gives more than 100 performances a year worldwide, performing with the greatest conductors, orchestras, and artists.
In equal measure is written about her hearing disability. This mention is understandable as WE, the plebia, think that disable people should be respectfully kept aside on the footpath while we walk towards future, progress, blah blah blah.
Evelyn Glennie – World Famous Solo Female Percussionist at Work
And then comes along a petite woman who is deaf. She does not take ‘no’ for an answer. She goes the percussion way. She masters the macho instruments; She breaks the male bastion and goes onto become a solo percussionist. She performs in front of live audience. She composes music. She wins awards. She gives motivational talks. And she goes on to teach music.
Of course, this is all a bit too much to digest. Not to forget that she is now trying her hand at designing jewellery and cooking. But that’s Evelyn Glennie. She has me humbled, happy and proud. I am longing to see her next performance.
“Hearing is a form of touch. You feel it through your body, and sometimes it almost hits your face.”
It is believed that Beethoven produced his most complex masterpieces when he was completely deaf. It is also debated that had he not been deaf, he would not have produced pieces of that intensity and complexity making him unparalleled in the music world. I wait to see what more Evelyn is going to do.
Evelyn Glennie is currently the vice-president of Hearing Concern and Deafness Research UK, and president of The Beethoven Fund for Deaf Children, which provides musical therapy units to schools for the deaf and partially-hearing across the UK. Read her enlightening and soul warming interview on Hearing (Loss) and Related Issues here
“There’s sound everywhere—we just have to listen”
To know more about Evelyn Glennie, visit her official website and if you have not been able to view the spectacular TED video I am talking about, you can find a copy on YouTube – How to Listen to Music
You may now scroll up to see the video and let me know if your loved the music or lived it!