April 26, 2022
“I started off thinking that you had to hear through the ears” – Dame Evelyn Glennie on being a better listener
My latest guest on the Machine Listening Podcast is double Grammy winning, BAFTA-nominated Dame Evelyn Glennie. As a world-renowned solo percussionist, Evelyn has recorded over 40 albums, commissioned more than 200 pieces of music, performed the first percussion concerto in the history of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in 1992, and led 1,000 drummers during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.
She is also Chancellor of Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland, a popular public speaker and regularly composes music for film, TV and the theatre.
Since the age of 12 Evelyn has been deaf, which makes her achievements even more inspirational. Thanks to her early percussion teacher and an amazing career she has continued to hone her awareness of sound to such a degree that she describes her body as a resonating chamber.
This podcast is all about the subject of teaching machines to hear but with our latest guest it was a great opportunity to reflect on what it really means to listen.
We talked about her experiences, the way that she listens, the importance of being a better listener and the impressive ‘The Evelyn Glennie Collection’, which contains over 3,500 instruments and artefacts from her career so far.
Photo of Evelyn used with permission. Credit: Philipp Rathmer/Brigitte