Thursday, 6 September 2018

And the band played on...

Image result for head on a drum deaf vibrationSadly without me.  
Crypto's latest blog displays I am sure, there are means for deaf people to follow music, an issue I never believed in being an 'ex' hearing person/musician myself with knowledge of how it is supposed to sound.  

I don't want to put a downer on those deaf who still manage it, even if 'access' to music is relative in most part as to how I would describe it, and they aren't getting more than 16% or even less of it..  What I tend to see is deaf accessing the more physical instruments that produce easily identifiable vibrations e.g. timpani, drums, Bass etc, instruments that their body react to, but ask them to discriminate between Elvis or Pavarotti, via singing, then the issues of access begin to show themselves more clearly.  

Image result for head on a drum deaf vibrationThey would know the difference in size and age, but ask how many deaf follow e.g. opera and the cracks tend to show themselves because the voice becomes the primary 'instrument' (And often in an unfamiliar language).  Classical music also has issues, despite Evelyn Glennie of the UK being a 'deaf' virtuoso of percussion in the UK, she is an exception to the rule and not really from the 'Deaf' areas and oral reliant.  She was panned for years as a 'pretend hearie' because she managed international fame and success without any cultural inclusion or sign use and didn't promote it.

Of course, the sensorineural loss can prevent accessing the frequencies many instruments present, just as it does in identifying different voices.  Those frequencies are generated by the vibrations deaf need to 'follow'.  They define what the 'Deaf' hear in effect or what hearing do.  Dogs and other animals/birds/mammals can access frequencies well beyond any hearing or deaf person.

Of course, the vague descriptions these days as to what deafness IS hasn't helped, if like me bone conduction is poor and hearing at zero identification, then I cannot be a 'listener' using any type of assisting technology or useful hearing.   Then, I have to have hearing, there isn't an alternative.

I cannot enjoy music any more, it was too traumatic for me to lose all access to it.  I was 'spoiled' by the fact I had enough hearing earlier on to discriminate instruments from each other and appreciate different styles and singing voices.  I could mentally listen to most music up to about 1970 nothing exists after that, because that is when the hearing vanished entirely.  I was just not able to settle for the vibrational approach at all, I would be stressing trying to fill in all the gaps I know my deafness won't allow me to access.  

In essence, if I couldn't have it all I wanted none.  To that end, my radio went, my guitars, I don't use sound on my TV or computer, and my music collection went too, everything connected with generating sound was binned.  The stuff became a useless ornamentation, and worse a constant reminder of what I will never have any more. 

I did attend an 'inclusive' concert for the deaf, it was not possible even with direct access to the vibration of the instruments and the players, the interactivity was on a screen with coloured lights on, that wasn't very well synchronised with what was being played, and captions with signing accompaniment, which offered no 'In' as I could see.  The signing was pointless except to tell the deaf there what was being played.  Attempts by the terp to describe what instrument was playing became farcical as the terp resorted to face pulling for some reason and likened some instruments to cats wailing!  Would a deaf person know a cat wailed like a violin?!

Text access was 'Violin plays', 'cello starts now..' 'Spirited drumming starts..' etc  I saw no point in that given I could still hear nothing at all.  The Deaf audience seems to enjoy it by comparison, apart from deaf children treating the concert hall as a playground and insisting on pulling at the instruments.  I never went to a deaf organised 'music appreciation' event afterwards.  I emerged more depressed than anything the access was zero in my respect.