Evelyn glennie deaf essay

who is totally deaf can still hear/feel sounds. Read Evelyn's hearing essay if you wish to explore this question further. Without music, how are you able to perform .
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It the talk was basically dealing with orchestras taking time to delve into the technical aspects of earplugs and for the companies to work very closely with the players of the orchestra and the management, knowing that the same earplug or type of earplug is not necessarily going to be suitable for every single player.

Certain people want to hear certain things. There has to be that choice element.

Evelyn Glennie, 1965– World leading percussionist, deaf

But mostly the investment, in having the time to experiment with these types of things. Yet the physical aspect of seeing a mallet come down on a surface and being struck gives the illusion that something is going to be loud. I was really only involved in a small part of that giving my talk and giving the snare drum demonstration.

But it was interesting how people found that in order to see the musician project the sound and project the performance, that overrode the feeling that something was loud or soft, or something was damaging to my hearing or not. In the liner notes for Shadow Behind the Iron Sun, you mention that you had wanted to do a completely improvised recording for years.

Perhaps you could speak to us about your interest in improvisation: what does improvisation bring to you personally as a musician that is different from your activities as a composer and interpreter of your works and the works of others? Improvisation is such an individual thing.

Basically the hall, the theatre, the environment you are playing in is your main instrument. That you perceive everything you happen to use as your tools, i. Yes, it was not for a film, it was a really just collecting sounds that were then used just for various television aspects. Basically that was totally improvised. How can a great big sewage tank be played? What would happen if we got right on top of the sewage tank? If we played the side of it?

If we would play underneath it? If we put microphones inside it?

If I bent over and sang inside it? So that was all completely improvised, but it was more sound gathering as it were. It was really such an interesting experience. Were you doing improv already while you were a student? Or did you pick it up only after finishing school? Is it something which for you complements or is separate from compositional acticities? Yes we were encouraged to improvise as youngsters. Of course the Scottish traditional music is aurally passed over, so as a very young girl I was playing by ear on the piano.

So we never studied from a study book.

I was always self exploration. If we were playing a piece of music we would then pick out a phrase or a bar or a certain aspect of that music. It could be the mood or the texture or the dynamic or the rhythm or something and we would improvise on that. A really useful tool which often is not addressed in music institutions, but when you think of the great composers, such as Beethoven and Mozart, and Paganini and Liszt, they could all improvise.

That was a huge part of the entertainment aspect, as it were, of what they did as performers. What are your views on improvisation in music education? Is improvisation something that is being taught enough in schools… do you feel that improvisation can even be taught in an academic environment, or is it something that each individual best learns by interacting in ways which are suited and unique to them in relation to their particular instrument?

Right from the start. Through music making? She may have been playing a cello study or something like that but it was all related to some kind of other aspect of play. It will make the concert hall happy, because Evelyn wants the audience to be inspired by her words through the language of the music. That is a real musician.

Now is the time to start all amazing feats, but if I try to do this, I will not only get tired of writing long lists, but you will also feel bored.

Percussionist Evelyn Glennie - Euromaxx

The center of the documentary is a collaboration between Evelyn Glennie and Fred Frith. I do most of the talking whilst the other person can say a few words by striking the transmitter with a pen, I hear this as clicks. I have a code that depends on the number of strikes or the rhythm that I can use to communicate a handful of words. So far we have the hearing of sounds and the feeling of vibrations.

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There is one other element to the equation, sight. We can also see items move and vibrate.

Education and Learning

If I see a drum head or cymbal vibrate or even see the leaves of a tree moving in the wind then subconsciously my brain creates a corresponding sound. An electrical signal is generated in the ear and various bits of other information from our other senses all get sent to the brain which then processes the data to create a sound picture. The various processes involved in hearing a sound are very complex but we all do it subconsciously so we group all these processes together and call it simply listening.

The same is true for me. Some of the processes or original information may be different but to hear sound all I do is to listen. I have no more idea of how I hear than you do. You will notice that more and more the answers are heading towards areas of philosophy.


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Who can say that when two normally hearing people hear a sound they hear the same sound? All we can say is that the sound picture built up by their brain is the same, so that outwardly there is no difference. For me, as for all of us, I am better at certain things with my hearing than others. I need to lip-read to understand speech but my awareness of the acoustics in a concert venue is excellent.

For instance, I will sometimes describe an acoustic in terms of how thick the air feels. To summarize, my hearing is something that bothers other people far more than it bothers me. For me, my deafness is no more important than the fact I am female with brown eyes. Sure, I sometimes have to find solutions to problems related to my hearing and music but so do all musicians.

I'm a Grammy Award Winning Musician and I'm Deaf | Evelyn Glennie

Most of us know very little about hearing, even though we do it all the time. I remember one occasion when uncharacteristically I became upset with a reporter for constantly asking questions only about my deafness. In this web page I have tried to explain something which I find very difficult to explain. Even so, no one really understands how I do what I do. Please enjoy the music and forget the rest. Your email address will not be published.

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer Evelyn Glennie, — World leading percussionist, deaf.