Playing By Ear: Evelyn Glennie On How To Listen

The subject of Marlee Matlin’s dancing came up in the comment thread for The ‘Otherly-Abled’ Have Affairs, Too. I suggested that anyone curious about deafness and dancing should explore the music of Scottish percussionist and composer Evelyn Glennie. There are a number of performance videos on the net, and I may drop previous plans for tomorrow’s Mouffe so I can devote it to her. As a prelude, check out Glennie’s talk on how to listen to music with your whole body (from TED 2003). Here’s the synopsis:

In this soaring demonstration, deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie leads the audience through an exploration of music not as notes on a page, but as an expression of the human experience. Playing with sensitivity and nuance informed by a soul-deep understanding of and connection to music, she talks about a music that is more than sound waves perceived by the human ear. She illustrates a richer picture that begins with listening to yourself, and includes emotion and intent as well as the complex role of physical spaces — instrument, concert hall and even the bones and body cavities of musician and listener alike.

What is TED? The Technology, Entertainment & Design conference.Check it out.

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9 Responses to Playing By Ear: Evelyn Glennie On How To Listen

  1. ms modigliani says:

    Dame Evelyn Glennie is amazing! I look forward to hearing her at the Cafe Mouffe. Did you know she is also a jewelry designer as well as a brilliant musician and motivational speaker?

  2. Mark Willis says:

    She talks about jewelry in the process of making music and listening to it. Her jewelry is an extension of her body. And she listens with her body. What an O.B.E.!

  3. ms modigliani says:

    OBE? Order of the British Empire?

    OBE? Out of Body Experience?
    IBE, rather…totally…in body experience

    Stop teasing.

  4. Mark Willis says:

    Dame = OBE = Order of the British Empire

    She seems pretty young to be saddled with imperial honors, but it hasn’t slowed her down.

  5. Mark Willis says:

    I should add, for the good of the Order (of the British Empire), in case the Queen reads this tonight:

    If there is a Sir Mick and a Sir Paul, why isn’t there a Sir Ringo?

    Maybe someone will enlighten me.

  6. Mark Willis says:

    Can’t let this thread go. I do hope the Queen reads this tonight.

    If I’m ever honored with initials after my name (fat chance!), I want them to be as in Joyce’s Ulysses: K.M.R.I.A.

  7. ms modigliani says:

    I don’t about initials after your name, but I could night you.

  8. foshowley says:

    The first time I watched that video 1. I had no idea that she was deaf. 2. I watched it three consecutive times. She’s amazing.

  9. Mark Willis says:

    Yes, definitely. You can hear some of her music here:

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