Answers Activity 128

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Our "Composer of the Week" this week is Aberdeen-born percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music. In a career spanning more than twenty years, she has performed with almost all of the world's leading orchestras, playing up to 60 different percussion instruments, from the xylophone to the timpani. In that time she has won over 80 international music awards, including two Grammies. Outside classical music, she has achieved crossover success in the worlds of pop and rock, having recorded with artists such as Sting and Bjork as well as composing and performing a number of soundtracks for film and television.
Glennie began studying music at the age of 12, by which time she was profoundly deaf. However, she has never been deterred by her loss of hearing and does not see it as an obstacle to composing and performing music. In fact she is frustrated by the fact that despite all her achievements as a musician, it is her deafness that always makes the headlines. As she writes on her website in her essay about hearing, 'If you are standing by the road and a large truck goes by, do you hear or feel the vibration? The answer is both. For some reason we tend to make a distinction between hearing a sound and feeling a vibration, in reality they are the same thing.' She goes on to point out that this distinction doesn't exist in all languages. For example in Italian the verb 'sentire' means 'to hear' while the same verb in the reflexive form means 'to feel'.
In concert and in the studio, Glennie performs barefoot in order to feel the sounds of her instruments vibrating through the floor and the title of her best-selling autobiography is 'Good Vibrations'. But let's get on to the music. Glennie released her first album in...


Dame Evelyn Glennie was born in Aberdeen, Scotland. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music. She has been performing for more than years, and plays over different percussion instruments. She not only plays and records classical and pop music, but has also composed several film . Dame Evelyn finds it frustrating that journalists often write about her more than her music. She thinks that there is no real difference between hearing and a vibration. When Dame Evelyn performs, she never wears in order to feel the vibrations of her instruments.


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