Evelyn Glennie. St George’s Hall

THE percussionist. The best acoustics in Bristol.

My lovely friend Janine bought me a ticket for gig 4, we both were excited/intrigued by seeing a percussion gig.

Evelyn Glennie is a unique and brilliant talent. I knew that before this gig, but I felt it last night in St George’s. I love St George’s, its beautiful and the acoustics are amazing. It’s a wonderfully intimate space, and as a former chapel, I always feel as if I am worshiping music in there.

The opening piece was wonderful, the interplay between Glennie and her accompanying  pianist, Phillip Smith almost jazz like. I guess when you’ve played together as long as they have you develop an innate understanding and the interplay between then was amazing. Then she played a hang, and the sounds produced were just beautiful. So warm & lovely & astonishing. Then a total change of mood to a piece that felt cinematic, like a Hitchcock soundtrack, going to all points on the musical compass and back again.I wasn’t sure where it was going to go next, and in that respect its the most punk rock thing I’ve ever heard. Loud, soft, intimate, rage filled, creepy, you name it Evelyn played it. Surprising us with unexpected techniques and dazzling us with her brilliance.

I don’t know how we arrived at the interval, it felt like Evelyn had only been on stage for 10 minutes, I’d been that captivated. After the break we were treated to a cacophonous and arresting piece that wouldn’t have been out of place on the Mad Max soundtrack. It was disturbing, almost apocalyptic and quite jarring given the beauty and tranquility of the venue. The final piece, with recorded orchestral support, a double concerto for piano and percussion. Wow. It went everywhere sonically and emotionally before landing us back where we had started, marveling at the extraordinary talent of Evelyn Glennie.

Janine and I had gone in intrigued and excited. We left still intrigued and excited. You can’t really ask for more than that.

4 down. 36 to go.


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