‘Touch the Sound’


“There’s sound everywhere—we just have to listen,” Evelyn Glennie says in Touch the Sound, Thomas Riedelsheimer’s portrait of the classical percussionist, who happens to be deaf. It’s rare that a documentary conveys an artist’s worldview so compellingly, but then Glennie is no ordinary musician. Having lost most of her hearing by age 11, the Scottish farm girl compensated by feeling the sound of the snare drum with her body. Years later, she’s a performer of seemingly limitless invention. Forgoing the concert hall, Riedelsheimer films the petite, tattooed Glennie improvising to the rhythms of a tap dancer on a New York street corner, playing barnacles on the moors of her native Aberdeenshire, and jamming with an avant-garde composer in an abandoned German factory. Glennie’s art, Riedelsheimer suggests, is more than mere show—it’s a way of life.

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