Drumin’ Up Delight
Dame Evelyn Glennie is the first person in music history to have a full time successful career as a solo percussionist. InSITE editor Amy Nicholass could see why after watching her perform in Hereford.
Amidst a buzzing, playful atmosphere, I was transported back to being a kid when I watched multi award winning percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie at the Courtyard.
At first glance the stage looked like a child’s playpen full of amazing toys. These were in fact a large and unusual selection of percussion instruments just waiting to be played with.
I’ve always wanted to see Evelyn perform because she is so talented and her success is all the more sweet because she is profoundly deaf.
The main instrument Evelyn used on the night was a huge wooden xylophone called a Marimba. It was about seven foott long and stood at waist height. Evelyn played it with two sticks in each hand! This created an almost tropical sound like softened steel drums and I got swept up in the rhythms reminding of ‘Under the Sea’ from the Disney film The Little Mermaid.
At one point Evelyn put on a scary mask and sat at a bongo drum beating out hilarious rhythms and speaking gobbledygook, much to the delight of the young members of the audience!
And I’ll never watch scary movies in the same way again as Evelyn demonstrated the eerie sounds that a violin bow on a piece of metal can make.
Evelyn even gave out a top tip for all you keen drummer’s out there! When choosing your sticks, tap them on your head before you buy them and then you’ll be able to hear if the pitch of the sticks match one another!
The night was great fun and full of surprises. Evelyn’s sheer enthusiasm, humour and amazing range of skills were mesmerising!