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Saturday, October 01, 2005


Walking home from work, NPR in the headphones, I catch what sounds to be a fascinating documentary by German director Thomas Riedelsheimer, Touch the Sound, featuring the amazing Scottish percussionist, Evelyn Glennie.

evelyn glennie from scene filmed at GuggenheimI've attended every concert possible of hers and they are all cheering and life-affirming and leave me pondering what the heck I'm doing or want out of life.

I tuned into a cascade of delicate percussive sounds which turned out to be EG, on her knees in some restaurant - possibly Japanese - drumming up a storm with chopsticks on whatever she could gather around her - floor, glasses, plates, who knows what ....

One concert I attended was at London's Festival Hall.

On she glided, barefoot, hair hanging loose and held us in thrall for ... how long? Two hours? None kept track and it wasn't long enough.

evelyn glennieAnother was in a small club where - à la chopstick trick - she suddenly left her on-stage instruments and, sans missing a beat, moved from bona fide percussion to stage light to banister to the first table whereon sat half-filled beer mugs and wine goblets and plates with unfinished food, ashtrays (yes, back then) and cutlery and purses and cell phones - and she just whipped up a soufflĂ© of sound which could have come from the costliest instruments.

She is also breath-takingly beautiful which has nothing whatsoever to do with anything except to complete the vision.

Her voice - when she finally speaks - is low and mellow and she wastes no words.

From her (slightly over-blown) bio:

Evelyn is the first person in musical history to successfully create and sustain a full-time career as a solo percussionist.

As one of the most eclectic and innovative musicians on the scene today she is constantly redefining the goals and expectations of percussion. By combining superb technique, a profound appreciation of the visual and her astonishing musicality, Evelyn creates performances of such vitality that they almost constitute a new type of performance.

The blessing of blogs is that every now and then I'm turned onto something or one I really should have known of and am hugely grateful for the introduction.

This is me doing the introducing.

None of you will be disappointed if you follow my lead.

In fact, the Music link has story about a newly dusted down 'Trane/Sphere recording so, all in all, a pretty good listing by that noble station and I must remember to up my contribution when the next $$ drive comes round.

Dammit, nothing stopping me from right now firing off a paltry $100 for the Glennie tip-off alone.

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