|Evelyn Glennie: Answers
|1. Among musician colleagues - No. We all make music together & respect each other for our music making. There is never really much time to discuss anything else. It is only journalists & other media forces who, IN THE MAIN, concentrate on the learning issue. I usually call the shots as to how I want people to treat me & they are usually surprised how unfussy and normal it all is. People with severe beards are advised to shave before expecting me to carry out a conversation with them.
2. Music is a universal language but with lots of dialects. It is the one subject which can overcome the language barrier, wherever there is a drum, there is communication. There are no clan barriers with percussion. I can share it with babies all the way to the elderly.
3. Children are children with no inhibitions. They are constantly on the move & continually soaking all that is around them & in turn expressing outwardly their emotions. Adults are 'the system', they are adhering to rules all the time & are more prone to holding in emotions. I need the balance of experiencing both, in the same way I need to play different types of music to keep me fresh & constantly curious.
4. Any disabled person is treated differently throughout the world. In the west, we are in general reasonably open about disabilities although there is still huge developments of understanding to be made. In the Far East, especially Japan, they often refer to their deaf people as 'deaf & dumb'. This is insulting to us in the West. One has to keep an open mind as to place. All I do is play music & that is what I'm usually hired to do. It is therefore important that people understand that they have experienced the music of a musician, not a deaf musician.
5. I like the variety in styles. My speciality is solo percussion & I'm still the only FULL TIME solo percussionist in the world. I love giving concertos with orchestras. Every time I pick up my mallets, I have to concentrate & let the imagination do the speaking. This is the case no matter which musical setting I'm in.
6. What a compliment! Beethoven is one of my music inspirations - because of the music he wrote & the emotion it brings. Personally I can begin to understand all the internal states one experiences as a deaf person which are never put into words. The inner turmoil can be scary at times but at least we have/had the tools to release these emotions i.e. my instruments, sticks etc.
7. Integration is the key word. It is so necessary, I cannot express it enough. We ALL have disabilities, we all have bad habits. We are constantly developing the art of flexibility with each other. We have to make the effort to try to understand each other. After all we only have the one chance to do it.
8. I like the balance of working with people & working on my own. This is why music is good. You can keep it private or you can play to a tiny group or to thousands of people. I'm a workaholic so I assume everybody else is to! This makes it sometimes difficult for the people around me for i expect so much. However, I detest laziness, non-comitment & the lack of initiative or imagination. My whole world is based on the imagination, not how many hours I practice.
9. Explore, be prepared for not being prepared (if you see what I mean), keep an open mind to all things around you & use every day as a way to enhance your mind & body. There is room & a need for all of us on this earth & me just have to find the seeds that make us come alive.
If you would also like to have a look at the press pack (www.evelyn.co.uk) you may find this useful aswell.