Evelyn Glennie and Trio HLK - When the power that is Jazz meets percussion

The Gulbenkian, Canterbury

An unlikely grouping, Trio HLK and Evelyn Glennie embody the rich culture and exciting performance at the heart of the Canterbury Festival’s ethos.

During the electrifying performance, world-renowned and successful percussionist Evelyn Glennie announced rather amusingly that working with Trio HLK had: ‘vastly taken her out of her comfort zone’. A tall feat for a musical genius such as herself.

The Scottish-born star lost her hearing at the age of 12. From then on, she has been faced with multiple challenges, yet overcome them all. Arguably the most significant challenge is the ability to feel music through vibrations in different parts of her body. A quality which allowed her to improvise her own work with Trio HLK and create a powerful and unique ensemble on Friday 2nd November.

Much of the concert was devoted to tracks featured on Trio HLK's album ‘Standard Time.’ An album which seeks to deconstruct music and present it in a modern way, a way which is perceived as ‘standard’ today reiterated in the album title.

The concert began with a more lulling tone, with soft keys executed by pianist Richard Harrold and more chiming than drumming from Richard Kass, while Ant Law maintained an electric presence throughout. The audience listened and watched keenly anticipating the arrival of Evelyn Glennie.

Welcomed on by applause and a full house, Evelyn Glennie was all smiles as she set herself up at the end of the stage. Settling into the performance with ease, her percussion instruments added shocks to the previously subtle tunes. Gathering speed, the Trio HLK members burst into life. In tune with their music, they performed animatedly, displaying passion and dedication. In a contagious manner, the well-dressed audience began to bob and shift to the music.

The atmosphere was thrilling. The scene was cut short by a brief intermission, which audience members spent discussing the enchanting feel of the concert. Upon returning, Evelyn Glennie performed a simple solo and Trio HLK performed a few tracks alone in perhaps their highest gear.

Drummer Richard Kass played effortlessly and strong throughout, leaving no drum base unturned, his distinctive sound dominating the night. In all, Evelynn Glennie kept up an enchanting appearance as she waved her arms around and created subtle sounds, in all contributed a whimsical feel to the night.

Meeting audience members at the end of the night Trio HLK proved to be approachable and kind hosts and Evelyn Glennie a delight beyond words. She is welcoming and sweet, her communication effortless.

Overall, the concert was definitely worthwhile and offered a unique experience. It was a concert suitable for music enthusiast of all genres or those simply looking for something different. The deconstruction and theoretical aspect of the music is incomprehensible unless you are knowledgeable in the area, otherwise, you may just enjoy the unusual twists and turns that is a Trio HLK and Evelyn Glennie concert.