We’re sponsoring a concert by Dame Evelyn Glennie who is appearing as part of Deal Music & Arts in July.
This two-week festival of music, talks, walks and performance runs from July 1-17 and we’re backing the event as part of our commitment to the arts.
Dame Evelyn is a Scottish solo percussionist who has been profoundly deaf since the age of twelve, having started to lose her hearing when she was eight.
Our managing director Mark Scutchings said: “Evelyn Glennie is an inspiration for people with hearing loss. She is a fantastic example of someone who did not let this stop her from achieving at the highest level.
“We are very proud to sponsor this concert as a way of recognising her achievement as well as supporting the arts in east Kent.”
Being deaf has not inhibited Dame Evelyn’s ability to perform and she regularly plays barefoot during performances and recordings to feel the music.
She is appearing for Deal Music & Arts on Friday, July 8 at 7.30pm with Trio HLK – Richard Harrold (piano), Ant Law (guitar) and Richard Kass (drums).
Dame Evelyn is one of the world’s most celebrated performing artists and we managed to catch up with her earlier this month for a chat.
We began by asking her how her hearing loss had influenced her choice of instrument and musical influences to which Dame Evelyn said that percussion was a good family of instruments with which to connect.
“We are dealing with a huge range of frequencies and very different types of sounds – from very high sounds to very low sounds,” she said. “We’re also dealing with sustained sounds and very short sounds so that sense of touch becomes so incredibly developed as a percussion player.
“The uniqueness for me is definitely that physical connection to sound. I am not influenced by picking up an interpretation of music by someone else because I don’t listen to music in that way. Everything I perform is based on my journey in relation to my own discovery of the sound and the instrument.”
Dame Evelyn said that it can take her longer to learn a piece of music due to not hearing other interpretations but the path is always very personalised. Each time she plays a piece of music it can change depending on the instrument, venue, acoustic and audience.
“You are very much in tune with the acoustic of the venue because that affects the vibration, the sound and what you physically feel,” she said.
Lockdowns during the Covid pandemic meant that musicians could not play before a live audience and Dame Evelyn said that her experience was interesting.
Connecting with the instruments
It was only when touring and giving concerts suddenly stopped that she realised that it was somewhat of a relief to not have to travel so much. At first she was happy to be at home, enjoying a break from all the preparations pertaining to travel. She also appreciated not being under constant pressure to learn new repertoire by a certain date.
“Lockdown gave me the chance to really connect with the instruments in a non-pressured way and explore their subtleties in a way that I couldn’t when I was travelling so much,” she said.
“I did more practice and playing without the pressure of having to do it, so my listening really expanded in ways which were quite surprising.
“But when I gave my first concert after lockdown it was just absolutely unbelievable. To feel the energy of the audience – we can’t underestimate what an audience does to a performer when we are on stage. Things change in a way that you can’t prepare for in your practice room and that’s the beauty of live performance.”