Singer’s 25-hour performance raises Dh10,000 for typhoon victims

Glenn Perry’s vocal cords may be 'fried' after more than 25 hours of singing and playing guitar, but the Dh10,000 he raised for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan made it all worthwhile.

DUBAI // Singer-guitarist Glenn Perry has what would seem to be a fairly obvious piece of advice for anyone considering a repeat of his 25-hour, non-stop performance: don’t do it.

But thanks to the Dubai performer’s efforts – singing and playing without food, water or sleep – Dh10,000 will go to the victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

“I wouldn’t advise anyone in the world to do this,” said Perry, who finished his singathon at 7.54pm on Friday and still sounded hoarse on Sunday.

“My fingers gave way after the first four hours. There were cuts in my fingers from playing the guitar.

“Almost six hours after the start, my vocal cords were fried and damaged. They were hurting and I was in so much pain.”

Super Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines early last month, killing almost 5,800 people.

The Portuguese singer said it was only the thought of helping those hit by the devastation in Tacloban, the city on the island of Leyte where he recently met victims, that helped him to get through the 25 hours and seven minutes.

“I had images of children dying in my mind. That was what took me through,” Perry said. “By 6am on Friday I was totally dizzy and had blanked out at least eight times mentally.

“One of my students’ mother offered me a chair to sit down and sing. For a brief moment, I sat down but then realised it was a bad idea.

“My back and shoulders started to hurt and the biggest problem of sitting in a chair was that you fall asleep.”

Perry, founder of the Dubai Music School, said response to his efforts by other musicians also made his pain worthwhile.

“My objective was to ensure that the media continued to report on the disaster and for aid agencies to quadruple their presence in Tacloban,” he said.

“Many artists are starting to do concerts for the victims and I know my purpose has been fulfilled.”

Perry said he always warned his students against singing when their vocal cords were sore but deliberately ignored his own advice.

“I tell them it can lead to laryngitis or seriously damage their vocals but I had to continue singing to raise awareness.

“I used a lot of different techniques for the singathon, like a diaphragmatic technique where the sound and air pass from the side of the vocal cords.”

Perry said money raised from gigs he is due to play over Christmas and New Year would also aid typhoon victims.

pkannan@thenational.ae

Published: December 8, 2013 04:00 AM

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