Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Evelyn Glennie on sound, the body, meaning, and music

Well worth paying attention to, on so many levels. If you're a dancer and you don't have 32 minutes right now, I'd suggest 05:30-07:50, in which she goes from the relationship between music and the body to a beautiful demonstration of the difference between playing music and giving it meaning. Like the difference between reciting a platitude and speaking a thought.

From the TED website:

In this soaring demonstration, deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie illustrates how listening to music involves much more than simply letting sound waves hit your eardrums. Scottish percussionist and composer Evelyn Glennie lost nearly all of her hearing by age 12. Rather than isolating her, it has given her a unique connection to her music.

Hat tip C.W. who shared this on Facebook.


cassiel said...

It's breathtaking!

Thanks for sharing.


Game Cat said...

Hi. Watched it earlier in the week and it was fascinating. Thanks for the link! A lot of food for thought - probably worth rewatching to pick up more, but the ones which I caught and will ponder as being relevant to a tango dancer are:

Listening with the whole body ('the resonating chamber'!), not just the ears. I think it's like feeling the music inside you.

The difference between 'interpretation' and 'translation'. The former requires bringing something personal and emotional to the musical act.

Any given physical 'technique' is important as a means to an end - which I take to be 'interpretation' in this case. It's a good idea to always question what you can use it for. If you don't know, then why spend time on it.

On another note, have watched EG perform live before and was astounded by the breadth and depth of sound this tiny bare footed woman could generate on a stage strewn with formidable instruments. She could create a forest of sound - living, breathing, pulsing. Highly recommend it if you have the opportunity.