Lots To Look Forward To As Town Gears Up For Festival

Evelyn Glennie

Top musicians will join actors and speakers next month when Deal Music & Arts holds its two week long festival.

From July 1-17 venues in the town and further afield will host concerts, plays, fringe events, talks, walks and family-friendly sessions.
 
Among the highlights are saxophonist Jess Gillam, the Academy of Ancient Music, the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra and percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie.
 
There’s open-air theatre, Shakespeare, talks about musicians and artists, walks and an opera based on the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
 
As part of our commitment to the arts we’re sponsoring Dame Evelyn Glennie’s concert at 7.30pm on Friday, July 8 when she will appear with Trio HLK.

Dame Evelyn Glennie

Our managing director Mark Scutchings spoke to Dame Evelyn, who has been profoundly deaf since she was 12. He asked her if she experienced tinnitus and distorted perceptions of sound and pitch which many deaf people suffer from.
 
Dame Evelyn said she thought a lot more education still needed to happen in order to understand the function of all our senses because people are inclined to over-simplify them. We often assume that if you are blind you live in a world of darkness and if you are deaf you live in a world of silence, she said.

“When I was a child wearing hearing aids and playing music the whole sound world just became a mess,” she said. “It was very distorted and very painful and nigh impossible to understand about texture because there was no texture.
 
“If you’re struggling with this barrage of sound the instinct is to create more sound to hear yourself and that didn’t help at all. I found that when I took the aids off, I could connect with the sound and the body became a big ear in a way. It was only then that I began to understand the journey of a sound.

Tinnitus

“My dynamic range became more sensitive and I could better understand and control it because I was physically feeling the sound. This changed my interpretation of the music I was playing.”
 
Dame Evelyn said she used to suffer from tinnitus quite a bit early on but not so much now, something she put down to knowing how to control the amount of sound she fed herself.
 
She said she was very conscious of the sounds around her and in her house and made sure not to practice for longer than 20 minutes at a time, so that her body has a chance to stop hearing and listening – something she described as akin to a sound diet.

Percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie

Asked about what advice she would give to a young person with hearing loss who wanted a career in music Dame Evelyn said that many people think of musicians as having to play an instrument.
 
“But,” she added. “Some of our great soundscape artists who can use music technology don’t actually play a musical instrument, yet they are great artists and musicians.
 
“Many of our media artists create great music but don’t play an instrument or aren’t strong instrumentalists but are wizards at technology. I feel there should be absolutely no barriers whatsoever if a young person with hearing loss wants to enter the music profession.
 
“With the advancement of cochlear implants and the very many kinds of hearing aids available there is no reason why any barrier should exist nowadays.”
 
Find out more about Dame Evelyn’s concert for Deal Music & Arts and book tickets here
 
 See full Deal Music & Arts programme here
 
 Visit Dame Evelyn’s website here