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Evelyn Glennie: Shadow Behind the Iron Sun

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 7, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

If you think the percussionist's role is merely to supply rhythmic backbone, you haven't encountered the phenomenon named Evelyn Glennie. The category-defying Scottish musician has spent her career pursuing the unique route of percussion virtuoso, turning music into an intensely hyperactive verb. Glennie's sound world encompasses a global, pan-cultural panoply of music makers in addition to the standard drum kit: watergongs, bamboo sticks, ceramic bells, car exhaust pipes, finger cymbals, thundersheet--to name a few from the arsenal she uses here (Glennie reportedly owns over 1,000 percussive instruments). Even in her interpretations of works by other composers--such as James MacMillan's Veni, Veni, Emmanuel or the Grammy-nominated Concerto for Percussion by Joseph Schwantner--Glennie scoops out plentiful opportunities for improvisation; but the concept of Shadow Behind the Iron Sun was to allow Glennie to lock herself up in her studio and improvise the entire album. With the help of her collaborator, pop mixmaster Michael Brauer, the result is a fantastically textured, mesmerizing adventure for the ears and the imagination. Despite a vague ambition to explore "as many moods as possible" (Michael Crichton's Eaters of the Dead was apparently the source for some of the picturesque titles here, such as "Attack of the Glow Worm" and "Wind Horse"), the variety and juxtaposition of colors evoke a cinematically gripping, almost synesthetic sense of atmosphere--yet another evolution of "program music" into the 21st century? Much of the fun is in experiencing sounds whose origin remains mysterious, as Glennie performs her one-woman-as-orchestra wonders. --Thomas May
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 7, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: SONY MASTERWORKS
  • Run Time: 71 minutes
  • ASIN: B000031W9F
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,082 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Even my dog liked it -- mesmerized by the music, staring at the stereo like the mutt in the RCA logo.
Solo percussion is, admittedly, an acquired taste. The song samples here give you a reasonable flavor of the album. If you don't like them, don't buy it.
At the same time, Glennie has done more than anybody to advance the art, the possibilities, and the popularity of percussion. (I saw her perform a snare solo encore last year that brought the audience to its feet.) In this album, she operates with more freedom and pushes more boundaries than in anything she's done to date. Yet it's still an approachable and genuinely exciting collection of music.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I went to a solo concert of hers because I had heard what I thought must be hype of her wonder. I was totally and utterly destroyed by her performance. She has complete technical perfection, tremendous athletic ability (yes percussion demands of the body), personal charm, and dramatic zest. Many of the albums I listened to after disappointed me because she clearly held herself within the strict measure of the others she performed with. I suspect her deafness makes her fearful of any rubatto in an orchestral setting. This album is the only one that begins to give a sense of her god-like gifts.
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Format: Audio CD
This CD is a true experience, similar to Charles Ives' "New England Holidays". The range of instruments Glennie uses and creates brings to mind Mickey Hart's statement about drummers being desperate and doing anything to produce sounds. Her music gets into your mind and body. It's appealing enough that my son, a rap fan, sat fascinated while "Land of Venden" was playing. His comment, "This is almost scary!", leads to my opinion that her talent is almost scary. Do yourself a favor and buy this one, it provides great mental and emotional rejuvenation.
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Format: Audio CD
Even if percussion sans so-called melodic instruments isn't what you think of when selecting a cd you've got to listen to this. Ms Glennie creates quite a melodic and dramatic tapestry and draws the listener right into the middle of it. Yes, it does take a few listenings to penetrate to the gist of it but that only enhances the genuine beauty contained here. Perhaps that is a given in any deeply creative work.
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Format: Audio CD
Evelyn Glennie has proven herself to be the quintessential percussionist of our day, time and time again. This woman has done more for percussion music than any other person in history. And with this album she is doing it again. Not only does she explore the world of percussion, but now is taking us on an odyssey of sound! No musician....no person should be without this album. It explores so much not just in music but in life. It is a bold statement made by a musical genious. I highly reccomend that you take some time from your everyday life and sit back and listen to this album from begining to end wiht no interuptions. You will be amazed at the thoughts and visions that are conjured up by the percussive canvas Evelyn has set up.
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