Mercedes Gomez Benet is not only a wonderful harpist, but a very interesting writer, in both Spanish and English. Among her writing is an educational play for toy theatre and harp or harp ensemble: Vania and the Open Windows, Vania y las Ventanas Abiertas. Inspired by a coversation Mercedes had with Evelyn Glennie, Vania and the Open Windows is about a young musician also destined to lose her hearing. With the support of those around her, she finds her own way to relate to sound and music, rediscovering listening, and her joie de vivre, after all.
"My conversation with the generous and intelligent Evelyn was very nice", Mercedes explains. "I asked her questions about who supported her as a child, who did not, how doctors and people in hospitals treated her when she first found out about her hearing condition, what was her previous musical background, how her friends supported her, how she taught her own teacher to understand new ways of relating to sound - and other emotional aspects. Emotions are the raw material for a writer, and for a musician. We forget how important they are in our playing, and how much they show - or our lack of emotions shows -when we perform."
Illustration by María Figueroa, for the kindle edition of Vania and the Open Windows