Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Touch the Sound

One of the things I did on Saturday was watch the DVD of the documentary Touch the Sound, a sound exploration with percussionist Evelyn Glennie, who happens to be profoundly deaf. You can watch the entire video online here.

While of course this film reminds me of Tara, who is also a world-class percussionist, it's also an inspiring look at an artist and the artistic process, especially the process of improvisation. Practiced by masters like Robert Fripp and Keith Jarrett, the art of being totally improvisational is something I really admire, and, to my mind, probably the highest form of talent and skill one can hope to achieve.

There are some wonderful scenes of Evelyn playing snare drum in Grand Central Station and a drum circle with Japanese Taiko drummers. But the real message behind the movie is opening our ears to the sounds in the world around us, even in a city as noisy as New York. It's about finding the beauty in the everyday mundane world that we easily miss if we're not open to it.

Then of course I had to go right over to the Sam Ash drum store a block away and play on their selection of hand drums and electronic kits. I saw a really neat compact conga that I might buy someday, perfect for my little apartment. I also have a mind to start experimenting with my violin bow on my guitar, the way Fred Frith does in the film.