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Dame Evelyn Glennie, Terry Devine-King and the Waterphone

By: Dame Evelyn Glennie DBE
Date: 27 Nov 2012

Dame Evelyn Glennie’s Recording Studio

"My studio is often described as an 'Aladdin's Cave' and I love taking composers and other musicians through the myriad of instruments I have accumulated over the years. Terry Devine-King kindly agreed to indulge me and we had an incredible time exploring the sound colours of instruments big and small.

The Waterphone

During the session, I introduced Terry to one of my favourite instruments, the Waterphone. Each waterphone is unique by its size, tuning, and indeed the maker of my waterphones has them signed and dated. The sounds created from these instruments are other worldly. The waterphone has been compared to the haunting melodies of the Humpback Whale as well as sounds from inner and outer space. They are also described as acoustic synthesizers, Waterharps or a musical 'Aladdins Lamp' - very appropriate for my studio!  Each time I pick one up I seem to melt in its infectious sound world, letting the instrument guide me through its sound journey.

Dame Evelyn and Terry Devine King explore the musicality of the waterphone

Wearing our composing hats, Terry and I (not to mention the sound engineer) thoroughly enjoyed exploring the depth of sounds from this innovative instrument. My collection boosts about 6 different Waterphones and yet, just one gave us so many options and possibilities.

The versatility of Waterphones are also increased by the fact they can be played in several ways. Terry and I used a cello bow, rubber mallets, wire sticks, bare hands, shells just to name a few “tools”. The water inside the instrument also alters the sound dynamic  as it swishes and swirls echoing in the base chamber and through its prongs bringing yet another otherworldly dimension."

Music to come

Do look out for our finished tracks in the Audio Network catalogue from this wonderfully creative session, coming very shortly.

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