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DRUMSKULLS; Percussion queen Evelyn wants her head turned into a bongo when she can't bang any more.

THIS beats everything - top percussionist Evelyn Glennie wants her skull turned into a drum.

Not that the Scots musician is a headbanger. Neither is she in any great hurry.

A timely interval after her death would be soon enough.

But the world's queen of rhythm does have drumming on the brain, and she believes it would be a fitting destiny for the Glennie cranium when her time is up.

Evelyn, 34, revealed her bizarre after-death wish after seeing an ancient, macabre Indian drum made from two human skulls bound together.

The top of each skull had been sliced off and a skin stretched across it.

A still-untopped Evelyn told the Sunday Mail: "I have played all manner of strange percussion in my time, but never anything made from human skulls.

"I was quite astounded that there was such a thing.

"But I knew exactly what I wanted done to my skull when I am long gone. My initial thought was: `That could happen to mine.'"

Aberdeen-born Evelyn joked: "At least there would be some use for it, perhaps more of a use than there is now.

"At the end of the day I am quite happy for any part of my body to be used in some constructive way.

"It is only going to be eaten by worms or burned, whatever I decide.

"I find the idea of my skull being turned into a drum a very interesting concept. It is not out of the question." The ancient instrument which planted the idea in Evelyn's head features in an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in London, which Evelyn is helping to promote.

According to legend, the skull drum belonged to the god Shiva, who beat out a rhythm to set the speed at which the Earth spins.

The bongo-like instrument sits alongside Beethoven's metronome and other ancient artefacts in The Story of Time exhibition.

Evelyn overcame the handicap of being profoundly deaf to become the world's only full-time solo percussionist.

She is due to fly to the United States today to start a three-month tour.

Last week she used a child's Thomas the Tank Engine spinning top as a musical instrument in the premiere of a new work in Birmingham.

Composer David Bedford's Percussion Concerto involved a whole array of bizarre instruments.

Evelyn, who now lives in Cambridgeshire, also played a length of corrugated plastic tubing, which produces a note when whirled round the head.

She used a spoon to tap out rhythms on a `batonka' made from lengths of plastic drainpipe.

And she played a `simtak', a car exhaust pipe tuned to sound like an anvil being struck.
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 12, 2000
Words:440
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