Evelyn Glennie Sounds Off: Letter to My Body

I am so familiar with your exterior, I know every dimple, pimple and cavity well. I examine you each day for signs of deterioration so nothing escapes the shutter lenses of your blue eyes!

As you know I am ‘creature of my senses’ and I assure myself that I am intact as I poke and prod each layer searching for changes lumps and bumps just to be sure you have not developed a sinister spot or mole that may require additional investigation. I hope you appreciate the lotions and potions I generously apply to ensure you don’t age too soon but I am mindful of the saying ‘you are as old as you feel’ which of course is very pertinent to me. So far you have served me well therefore I assume I have fed and nourished you sufficiently.

As you know the ear canals stopped working properly many years ago and through a long and careful process you have become one huge ear picking up sound vibration and allowing me to ‘hear’ in new ways. You helped me work out how to analyse the sensation of vibration from sounds as they hit my body using your amazing network of sensors. I cannot tell you or others what I hear and when I am performing I am often so close to the piece of music I am playing I cannot actually describe the sounds I am creating.

However what I can tell you is that my cheekbones tend to hum with the high note sensations and I feel the low notes deep down in the lower chest cavity which I equate to a resonating chamber. Occasionally you remind me that I need a bit more practice in ‘feeling’ unfamiliar sounds. However you always indulge my nervous system with the full range of vibrations when on a train or an aeroplane!

I often wonder what condition your internal workings are in and if there is reason for me to be concerned but I trust you enough to know that you would remind me when they need attention. I will continue to maintain the life long posture exercises I learned from school, ensuring I limit pressure on any single joint or muscle groups.

Before I forget I apologise in advance for the extra pounding you may experience as I rehearse a new Concerto by the composer Joseph Phibbs. His score is entitled ‘Bar Veloce’ specifically written for me to perform at the Cheltenham Festival in the UK. There are a great deal of quick movements I need to make as I dart around the instruments. I also need you to provide critical timing to ensure the performance is perfect!

During my recent trip to Japan I appreciated your help in keeping the brain from panicking as it struggled to come to terms with the terrible situation faced by the Japanese people. Their resilience and strength is exemplary as they calmly deal with the destruction caused by the recent earthquakes and tsunami. You took on board the very precious thoughtfulness of the warmth and kindness afforded me by these very proud people. I am proud of the way you stood firm as the aftershocks continued to remind the country of the ever present threat and I thank you for the little spiritual niche you have set aside in my brain for extra assurances – that works well for me.

As I arrived home to United Kingdom the fresh smell of summer rain and newly mown grass exploded the senses invoking memories of halcyon days when the perfumed blossom morphs into bursts of floral bouquets. Together we are one and the same.

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1 Comment

  1. Beautifully written, Evelyn.

    You are an inspiration and I regularly share your accomplishments with my son’s wife and their young daughter. i have high hopes for my granddaughter. Sharing all things positive with her young mind is very important to me.

    Thanks for all you do to make that effort easier for me.

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