I remember coming across this video on a suggestion link a few weeks ago, but not watching it because I saw that it was 30 minutes long rather than, say 10. But this afternoon I was reminded of Evelyn Glennie by Lucy Winkett in Our Sound is Our Wound (Pgs 4-5):
The professional musician Dame Evelyn Glennie is the leading solo percussionist in the world. She lost almost all her physical hearing by the age of twelve, and she uses her extraordinary musical talent to teach audiences, hearing or not, that we experience sound, and therefore music, through our whole bodies. She articulates the difference between hearing and listening. To isolate our ears as the only means by which we can listen to music is, she says, limiting to say the least, and the rhythm of sound and music is felt with our hands, tummies, cheekbones. Our whole bodies are tuned to experience rhythm of sound and vibration and, by becoming sensitive to the intervals between the vibrations, melody too. Her contention is that, with a variety of hearing impairments, we will all experience sound differently, but that we will all experience it somehow. No one who is hearing-impaired should be denied the chance to play music just because those who aren’t can’t imagine how it happens. It is a failure of imagination rather than a physical impossibility, and the icon of the ‘deaf’ musician is one that is inspiring, from Beethoven to Glennie to Vikram Seth’s pianist Julia, in his novel An Equal Music. There is no normative experience against which everything should be measured, and, when we recognize this, our relationship with God and our understanding of human beings will be only expanded and enriched.
Perhaps it was chance. Perhaps it was fate. Or perhaps it was God, giving me a little nudge and reminder of something that I needed to witness in my life. Maybe it wasn’t God. But it’s nice to think that it’s something that God would want me to see and hear and feel in my musical life. Of all the things I think that God wants for us to experience and know, I definitely think that Evelyn Glennie is one of them. A superb gift for all our souls and minds and hearts and bodies to receive. Thankyou Evelyn for helping me to open even further to the music around me, and in me.
Song of the Week: A Little Prayer
And I know what I’ll be watching soon: Touch the Sound