You can listen to Oxygen:

iTunes for 99 samples


Evelyn on percussion:
"Percussion is a family of instruments with which you can communicate quickly with people, share this whole world of sound. And there don't seem to be any class barriers."



Evelyn Glennie's website

77island listing


Thanks to for the background

Bjork and Evelyn Glennie recorded Oxygen for Glennie's greatest hits compilation released in 1998.

Oxygen is recorded in Bjork's infamous jibberish style. There has been some discussion among Bjork's fans who recognize certain

Icelandic words in the mixture of sounds (like "clock" for example). Illur_arfur explains it nicely: Well, because a lot of times when she goes off in her 'gibberish', it's made up of icelandic words which, when put together, make no sense. so i doubt having the words would really help you, as i doubt she put any meaning into them.



The Making of Oxygen (the following quotes are from the CD leaflette, thank you to Scatterheart): Evelyn: "It is very difficult to explain the feeling when you meet someone for the first time and somehow magic happens. Oxygen was the first experiment Bjork and I made back in 1995. Everything we did we recorded; this piece, with all the pops, rattles and other unrefined noises, shows that this was a totally spontaneous effort- without 'makeup" or doctoring of any kind. This is how I like to make music. This piece remained untitled until appearing on this album."


Engineer/Producer Greg Malcangi: "Just a few hours after meeting for the first time, Evelyn and Bjork wanted to quickly lay down an idea while it was still fresh in their minds. A session tape was made within 20 minutes. At a later date, Bjork return to Heritage studio to record a release version, but the magic of that practice take could never be recreated. Despite a few creaks and rattles from the marimba and the occasional 'pop' of Bjork's mic, both Evelyn and Bjork were in full agreement that the session take should be used as the release version. It remains a completely unedited single take that is deeply moving."


The Title: Evelyn: "Why Oxygen? I haven't the foggiest." 


Evelyn on Bjork: 

Music Street Journal: But you have worked with the King's Singers and the Black Dyke Brass Band.
Evelyn Glennie: Yes, well, the King's Singers, what can I say? They're such an institution. This was very much an experiment. That kind of collaboration is something you can really do once, and then you move on, really. Someone like Bjork, given the nature that she works in, she's constantly moving on. She moved on with her producer. She moved on with her percussionist. She doesn't spend a lot of time with people. And that's good, because she's always "What next?" 


Bjork on Evelyn: about telegram and my spine from blah magazine:
"Okay," chirrups Bjork. "Tank you. I actually feel quite awkward because it isn't my work. I did one remix myself, 'You've Been Flirting Again', and obviously me and Evelyn Glennie, that was just us [the only new track on Telegram is 'My Spine', a deliciously sparse collaboration between the all-hearing Icelandic singer and the deaf Scottish percussionist]. She lives in Oxford and I just went to her house and we ate a lot of biscuits and drank a lot of tea and she took out exhaust pipes and we just made up that song and recorded it in ten minutes.

Bits and pieces:

*The song My Spine is also included on the compilation. It was recorded with exhaust pipes.

*Evelyn Glennie is the world's first and perhaps only fully professional solo percussionist.