Evelyn Glennie's stone xylophone

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 - 16:07 in Mathematics & Economics

If Evelyn Glennie gets her way, one day every orchestra will have a stone xylophone. Martin Wainwright on a strange musical experiment in YorkshireAs he chatted with friends last year under the grand portico of Leeds university, Dr Kia Ng, a specialist in music and computers, found himself turning a question over in his mind. "I wonder how this building would sound?" he thought.Professor Jane Francis, a geologist, gave him an answer. The university's stones would ring, she said, if musicians could find a way to play them. The exchange led to an experiment that culminates today when percussionist Evelyn Glennie gives the world's first demonstration of a stone xylophone. This takes place at Brantwood, the former home of the great Victorian art critic John Ruskin, in the Lake District.Comprising 48 chunks of local rock, the 100kg instrument, which also boasts a raft of computer technology, is now a contender for a place...

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