The glass was half full in Massey Theater Wednesday, courtesy of Jamey Turner. The entertainer came to campus to play for the Middle School, treating students to a performance equal parts music, science, history, and stand-up. And the girls loved every minute.
Turner is a glass harpist. What looked like a cluttered kitchen table filled with detritus from a party long over, was actually his instrument: an array of glasses of all different sizes, filled to varying degrees with water. In reality, the party was just getting started. Turner deftly swirled the rims with his fingertips, tapping out Ode to Joy, some Mozart, a sea shanty, even a Scottish skirl.
"Music is everywhere," Turner told the girls, as if by way of explaining his métier. He went on to prove it by playing a giant wrench and a hand saw (which sounds surprisingly like a Theremin). He punctuated the performance with lessons, discoursing on the history of glass playing (it dates back to Bach), the merits of distilled water (the molecules are bound together more tightly, for better friction as you play), and why the pitch lowers when you pour more water in (the glass gets heavier).
Turner plays the glasses, but if the oohs, aahs, and raised hands clamoring to join him on stage were any indication, he's also a bit of a pied piper. He calls himself an "explorer of sound," and he may just have picked up some fellow travelers.