Evelyn Glennie is a percussionist. And Evelyn Glennie is deaf. Almost. Nevertheless a highly talented and respected musician. Her inability to hear as well as the rest of us does not matter the slightest. Except it makes for a very interesting documentary.
The film tells the story of her life since she was a kid - when she lost all but most of her hearing at age 11. We hear her reflections on how she experiences sound and various other things. All along the way we see her perform on different pieces of percussion in various unique places (not just concert halls). One such place is a big old factory building where she collaborates with experimental guitar player Fred Frith. One can snicker a bit at the gong sounds and incense sticks, but the film really invites you in to experience the music in every little detail.
Director Thomas Riedelsheimer takes his time to also let the viewer experience sound the way Evelyn does and tries to make us aware of the sounds that are all around us. And he does so to great effect. Also because a lot of the sequences are simply beautifully shot. Not only in the factory building, but also when Evelyn is walking through an airport.
This film was one of a handful that I felt inspired me a lot in different ways when I started doing my own first music documentary. From this film in particular the airport scene. I guess it would be a good way to start this new blog by writing about those films.
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