Inspirational percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie

Evelyn Glennie at Moers Festival 2004

Evelyn Glennie at Moers Festival 2004 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My friend who lives in London is an exceptional person. He was one of the volunteers who took part in London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony (and has a certificate and an acknowledgement in the programme of the Ceremony to prove it). I, one the other hand, is a lucky person. When I last visited him, my friend let me wear and drum the very plastic bucket he played during the ceremony. He taught me the rhymes the volunteers used to memorise the rhythms. Remember the very first one, when the idyllic and pagan English village starts being disintegrated by the onslaught of the Industrial Revolution? So, the rhythm there is this: “Beat your drum so your Mom can see you on TV”. And a shorter one goes like this: “I’m in need of a drink!”. Truly powerful stuff. 🙂


Dame Evelyn Glennie led the most powerful percussion section of the most emotional Olympic Ceremony I have ever seen. This musician and composer is certainly an inspiration. Here is a talk she gave for TED.

Dame Evelyn Glennie lost nearly all of her hearing by age 12. However, as I watched the talk, I forgot about this fact and had to be reminded again. She is truly amazing. My favourite part of her talk is when she describes how she gets acquainted with her instruments: she touches them, hugs them, rubs them, taps them around their whole surface, head and rim, and bottom, and sides, bangs on them with her jewellery – what a sensual approach!

I can learn a lot from Dame Evelyn Glennie. And first of all, of course, exactly what her TED talk is about – how to truly listen: to your drum, to your heart, to the people around you.

Categories: Percussionists | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Inspirational percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie

  1. Pingback: Evelyn Glennie And Fred Frith - Live At 2013 Moers Festival - Nights At The Roundtable: Concert Edition | Past Daily

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