Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Touch the Sound

Thomas Riedelsheimer, 2005
99 minutes, color documentary
All ages

Evelyn Glennie, a deaf percussionist, plays a variety of instruments with several collaborators in this portrait of her that focuses on the question of what is sound, exactly, and how do we hear? The body as a resonator, synaesthesia, the sheer joy of having a huge space to bang a gong in—like Rivers and Tides (see below), Riedelsheimer's portrait of this sound artist is an exploration of how humans play in the world, this time focused on the vibrations around us. Interview footage with Glennie is alternated with various performance pieces, including several lovely marimba duets with guitarist/musician Fred Frith. My eight year-old said, "I thought it was about different instruments—how you don't have to use an instrument for the thing it was made to do." In theaters as of this writing; waiting for DVD might be a good idea, as watching it in pieces will help restless viewers. Riedelsheimer does not rush his material.

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