News from the publisher: less than two weeks off the press, Poodie James has gone into a second printing. Many thanks to Rifftides readers who have helped to make that possible.
As an excerpt from the novel posted on Rifftides makes clear, Poodie is deaf and mostly mute. After she read that passage, Iola Brubeck sent this comment:
I enjoyed the excerpt. A number of years ago Dave played a benefit for the Theater of the Deaf in Connecticut. They described some of the sensations that you put so well in words….the feeling of the vibrations, both in their feet and in their bodies. Also, at one time, Dave shared a program with the deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie, who often appears as soloist with symphony orchestras. Her rhythmic sensitivity is unmatchable.
Like Poodie, Dame Evelyn feels frustration over the frequent concentration by those with full hearing on a deaf person’s deafness rather than on his qualities and abilities. Here is some of what she wrote on her web site:
I hope that the audience will be stimulated by what I have to say (through the language of music) and will therefore leave the concert hall feeling entertained. If the audience is instead only wondering how a deaf musician can play percussion then I have failed as a musician. For this reason my deafness is not mentioned in any of the information supplied by my office to the press or concert promoters. Unfortunately, my deafness makes good headlines. I have learnt from childhood that if I refuse to discuss my deafness with the media they will just make it up. The several hundred articles and reviews written about me every year add up to a total of many thousands, only a handful accurately describe my hearing impairment. More than 90% are so inaccurate that it would seem impossible that I could be a musician. This web page is designed to set the record straight and allow people to enjoy the experience of being entertained by an ever evolving musician rather than some freak or miracle of nature.
Deafness is poorly understood in general. For instance, there is a common misconception that deaf people live in a world of silence. To understand the nature of deafness, first one has to understand the nature of hearing.
To read all of Evelyn Glennie’s “Hearing Essay” and explore her site, click here.