Dame Evelyn Glennie took all of us on a journey of vibrating sound through her amazing performance with a variety of instruments in her most recent concert at St George’s in Bristol.
Her way of creating overwhelming sound flows so naturally that you barely notice how she goes from disruptive and tempestuous to melodic and relaxing. Glennie uses the drumsticks as ‘magic wands’, sometimes seeming as though she doesn’t even touch the instruments; like she was able to play them just with her mind and energy, creating a truly absorbing environment the theatre.
St George’s was in silence because Glennie kept the audience waiting for her next move in the stage. After a while we knew that every time she had her arms up in the air a different sound would take place followed by another and so on.
Sometimes she let us think that we were in a jungle at night, sometimes she was fast and alive like a city in the middle of the day. When the pianist, Philip Smith, chases her percussive journey, the melodic dream becomes more pleasant and relaxing for the audience.
Glennie takes us back to reality abruptly when the drums sound in a chaotic and powerful speed that at the same time hides the most rythmical tune.
The Scottish Grammy award-winner was found to be profoundly deaf at 12, however she always claims that we don’t only hear with our ears and when she is on stage it’s more than obvious that she not only has an outstanding control of all the instruments (more than 10) but she also enjoys it, closes her eyes, smiles and even dances along.
Suddenly the piano is silent, and before she says goodbye she takes control of the whole moment with her ‘magic wands’ to leave the audience in expectation and eager for one more night under her spell.
St George’s Bristol, Bristol
03 March 2017