I didn't decide to become a musician until the age of 15, which is quite late.
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.
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.
If I just simply let go, and allow my hand, my arm, to be more of a support system, suddenly - I have more dynamic with less effort. Much more, and I just feel, at last, one with the stick, and one with the drum.
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.
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.
Apart from Scottish traditional music, I wasn't really influenced by any kind of music. I just basically followed my own instincts.
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.
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.
Music really is our daily medicine.
My first real foreign holiday was my honeymoon 20 years ago, and we went to Bali. It was particularly special for that reason, I enjoyed it very much - I had packed music scores and a practice drum pad, suspecting that I would be completely bored, but actually they remained in my case.
What I have to do as a musician is do everything that is not on the music.
There's still a lot I need to do as a player, as a musician, as a sound creator. I have commissioned 170 pieces: that's still not enough, there are still lots and lots of composers I would like to approach. When I see a composer and I see a performer, I think to combine those forces.
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.
Anything you strike, anything you shake or rattle, or just anything that can be picked up, and you can create a sound.