Holidays are about experiences and people, and tuning into what you feel like doing at that moment. Enjoy not having to look at a watch.
I'm not a deaf musician. I'm a musician who happens to be deaf.
Music really is our daily medicine.
Music is about communication... it isn't just something that maybe physically sounds good or orally sounds interesting; it's something far, far deeper than that.
Percussion is the most adaptable family of instruments. The biggest challenge is to project percussion in a lyrical way.
The human body and mind are tremendous forces that are continually amazing scientists and society. Therefore, we have no choice but to keep an open mind as to what the human being can achieve.
Before my teen years, I was losing my hearing pretty quickly, and I was getting very, very angry. I was beginning to become an angry person because of that.
I didn't decide to become a musician until the age of 15, which is quite late.
I like the sparkle of the vibraphone.
The thing about playing percussion is that you can create all these emotions that can be sometimes beautiful, sometimes really ugly, or sometimes sweet, sometimes as big as King Kong and so on. And so there can be a real riot out there, or it can be so refined.
I am really quite fascinated by echo-locating bats and dolphins and have always wondered how sound affects the unconscious brain.
Hearing is a form of touch. You feel it through your body, and sometimes it almost hits your face.
Society cannot continue to disable themselves through their need to categorize people or make assumptions as to another individual's abilities.
A lot of things which come with a high profile will always be criticised one way or another.
And as I grew older, I then auditioned for the Royal Academy of Music in London, and they said, well, no, we won't accept you, because we haven't a clue - you know - of the future of a so-called 'deaf' musician. And I just couldn't quite accept that.
I've kept a diary since I was 11.
A large part of my work has been collaborating with composers; I think we've commissioned about 140 pieces now, a lot of them percussion concertos.
I just assumed the world was full of solo percussionists. I couldn't find sticks or music or anything where I was, but that was expected because there was nothing there anyway. And I think that was possibly the greatest asset for me, just not knowing.
My favorite instrument is the snare drum. In Scotland, the snare drum is very prominent in Highland bands. The Scottish style of playing is in my blood. It's a very powerful instrument, but it can also be soothing, like velvet. It's a real challenge for composers.
I suppose I don't hear things, but I listen, if you know what I mean. And there is a big difference between hearing and listening. So it's like a conversation, you know. When you speak to someone, it's one on one, and that's exactly how I play.
Once you're in a particular country, and you're surrounded by musicians who are so adept at traditional music, you suddenly realize how much there is to explore and digest and learn and experience.
When I was 12, I happened to see a schoolmate playing percussion, and it looked interesting. I asked for lessons, and it felt right.
Percussion is physical, as most instruments are. The body must function well in order to play the instruments well. Last year I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.
There are many collaborations I'd like to explore. One is to co-write a rap concerto with Eminem.
I think I can only help to expose percussion to all sorts of people. The balance between the lighter and more serious side is important.
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