I heard music for the first time ever last year AMA!
My short bio: Last year I got an extraordinary pair of hearing aids that allowed me to truly hear music for the first time ever. I asked reddit what I should listen to and got nearly 14 thousand comments/suggestions.
That experience carved itself into the screenplay for my first feature. I was working on the same screenplay for 4 years and finally finished the story after my translucent experience hearing music for the first time as a deaf person. If you want to support the project, check it out.
My latest update can be found here.
I have been deaf 23 years and hearing for little over 1 year. Ask me anything!
My Proof: http://imgur.com/TOZl9nO
Great talking to all of you today! If you'd like to get in touch visit my site: http://www.artofthestory.com. Thanks for all of the great questions! -Austin Chapman
Most annoying song- Call Me Maybe
Most annoying sounds- flushing toilet, motorcycle, or a balloon pop (hella scary)
also forgot about my old hearing aids and sometimes my new hearing aids has the most sickening sound when it's windy outside.... hearing aids work like powerful microphones so imagine blowing into a microphone, that horrible cracking sound is only amplified in my ear. (That's why I can't have my hearing aids on by a open window in car or train)
My old aids did it much more but the newer aids need much more wind like sitting in a car with all the windows down to cause that kind of feedback.
If you play video games, people do that in voice chat all the time, seemingly on purpose.
Is there no decency in this world?
I've read that when a person who has never heard before receives a pair of hearing aids, that they are oftentimes overwhelmed by the sound since their brains haven't been trained to discern and prioritize the different sounds they hear. apparently, their brains place equal importance to a person holding a conversation and to the hum of an air conditioning unit, for example, since they can't naturally tune out sounds, which makes hearing very stressful for them. this apparently makes it so that people who can hear with hearing aids and such to abandon them after trying them out. did you experience any of this?
also, when it comes to music, I've read that in this past century, thanks to the standardization of tuning and high levels of music production that we've been subject to, we as a population have developed incredibly accurate pitch identification. has this affected your ability at identifying pitches that are out of tune?
also, because I've never actually heard a description that fully satisfies me, what was it like to think for you? when I am thinking, it takes the form of a monologue in my head, thinking of how the words as if I were speaking out loud to myself. since you hadn't heard words before you obviously couldn't have this sort of monologue in your head, so how did you think things? did it consist of some sort of visualization of sign language?
and finally, did you receive vocal training while deaf so you could speak even if you couldn't hear sounds? how was it like? were you surprised when you heard what words actually sounded like compared to how you imagined them to sound?
i'm sorry if this was a lot to ask and not entirely about music, but I've never had a chance to ask these questions to someone who is deaf before, and these are things I've always wondered about.
These are great questions!
-You are absolutely right... my brain is still learning how to discern and separate sounds. This is the #1 reason why I don't listen to music with any background noise. It helps since I can plug my new hearing aids directly into my phone or computer and it plays the song with zero background noise even if I'm in a busy subway station. (they are the ultimate noise canceling headphones) As mentioned before, I have my new hearing aids off way more often now to give me some peace and quiet from the new overwhelming and loud world. Yes, I can adjust the volume on my hearing aids but I can't do anything when sounds mash together, my brain doesn't have the luxury of 20 plus years of practice when it comes to discerning sounds from each other.
-Hmm. I can't attest to pitch but for the most part I feel like most modern music does not sound anything as soulful as pre-modern music. It sure sounds clean and pretty but there's a sense of artificiality I can't shake. It's like the difference of a movie shot on film as opposed to digital. 'Clean' does not mean better. I wish more people would shoot on film or record with old equipment. Flaws show humanity, that little spoch on the silver screen reminds you it was developed by human hands not computers.
-What I'm hearing now is like learning a new language. I have to memorize and associate the words I hear with the written word. Some people assume that I was suddenly able to understand all the lyrics of every single song, but in reality if a person listens to a song in a language that they don't understand they certainly won't be able to make a perfect translation. I can hear every word but I can understand none of them most of the time. There are words I'm starting to master like 'love' 'bye' and other common words but it's an even longer process than simply learning a new 'language' because everyone has a different voice, men sound different from women, and there's accents on top of all that. My brain cannot separate vocals from instruments nearly as well as a normal hearing person can so it's mashed together. However I have been looking up the lyrics to my favorite songs and teaching myself which word is which.
-I got vocal training at the same time I was learning sign language. My speech therapist taught me how to check my own words by the vibrations in my throat. Yes, my 18 years of speech therapy was all with my extremely limited hearing aids. However, knowing sign language and being an avid reader opened up different ways of thinking in my head. Today I feel like I have 4 minds, one is american sign language, one is purely visual, one is the spoken word, and lastly the written word. I used memorization and association for the building blocks of my speech abilities, but I also learned how to say many words through lip reading. Even now, it's usually easier to learn a new pronunciation through lip reading as opposed to what I hear because I don't know how to re create all the sounds my hearing peers can make. I've mastered all the basic sounds except for z, c, s, ch, and e.
Hey man, I think you may have missed the point of the third question, and I'm not looking to correct you just cuz, but, I myself have wondered about the deaf persons analogue to an internal monologue. I get that you are learning a new language, new way of thinking, etc. But, when you were deaf, how did you construct complex thoughts and ideas in your head? If I see someone or something I know, I don't have a little voice in my head reiterating every minute detail of things; that would be maddening. But, if I were asked to solve a difficult equation, asked to recall an abstract fact, etc., I would have a monlogue with myself, in spoken English. How did you do it? Did you connect sign language, vibrations, etc., in your head to form complex thoughts? Is it something that you are even able to explain? Thanks for answering.
I should have expanded more on that, I'm also fascinated by how the mind works and differs from other brains.
Like you said, it's difficult to break down the internal brain process but I'll do my best-
I mentioned that I feel like I think with 4 minds because I use sign language, spoken word, written word and visual imagery to communicate. So when presented by any subject to think about, my mind automatically shifts to the most appropriate and sometimes more than one mind for the answer.
Right now, as I'm typing I'm using my written word mind as I type… I wouldn't talk with this kind of eloquence with the spoken word because of several factors- speed, lack of ability to edit yourself, and finally I would use half the words above simply because it's difficult for me to pronounce many of these words. (fascinated, automatically, appropriate, eloquence, even my own name, Austin, etc etc)
However, my spoken mind isn't just figuring out what words I can pronounce well enough for the other person to understand, it is also figuring out social cues, merging the information of what I'm hearing with the lip reading to build the most accurate picture, and finally talking.
When in a conversation with another hearing person, what they say is instantly converted to the written word in my mind from the sound/lip reading then I think about my answer still in the written word world, once I have the answer it is converted into a sentence on an imaginary wall that I hold up long enough to find the pronunciation for each word.
My brain processes the spoken word side of my brain more like a 2nd language than an actual way of thinking. Because I always go through a 'translation' process both ways in my mind when talking with voice.
When I'm signing to another deaf person, there's no written word or spoken word anywhere in my mind. That is the difference between the spoken word and sign language. English is a foreign language to me and always will be, even though I learned both sign and english at the exact same time.
Also with sign language you can communicate twice as much information and twice as fast compared to a normal conversation in spoken english. So even though I'm doing an internal translation every time I chat with hearing buddies, the conversation seems slow to me because I've experienced the speed of ASL.
My final and most used part of the brain is the imagery process. My mind simply creates an ongoing movie, but it's not just imagining cool sequences or story lines it's literally 'thinking' and trying to make sense of my world. I've read some great internal monologues on the page (Catcher in the Rye springs to mind) but I don't really get those, my internal monologues are internal moving imagery.
For example, if I sit down to write an email to someone. My mind paints imagery related to the content and then I translate the images to english text.
That is why my spoken word mind feels the most foreign because my brain's main base is imagery and from that imagery I can interpret it into english words or sign language easily but I cannot interpret it directly into spoken word. I must translate the image into english words first and then edit it enough to fit into the parameters of what I'm capable of pronouncing.
Imagery will always trump words because words were created to describe imagery.
It sure sounds clean and pretty but there's a sense of artificiality I can't shake.
I think you're describing the "loudness war".
Also, if you listen to some older recordings made back when stereophonic sound was still a novelty, a LOT of albums were mixed quite differently compared to today. It wasn't uncommon to hear things panned hard left and hard right. So all the vocals might be in the right, while all the drums were on the left. I don't think this is necessarily what you're talking about, but it's something you might run into eventually, and when you do you may find it irritating, since you're essentially using headphones instead of speakers, which makes the hard mixing very tiring to a lot of listeners. To fix this, you'll want to look into crossfeed. (There's a winamp plugin that will do this for you.)
Anyway, there are still some bands out there that record on old analog equipment and have much greater dynamic range than newer recording methods. Most vinyl is also mastered differently, long story short, the "loudness war" mastering style and vinyl are not very compatible. You might find you're a fan of vinyl. Come check out /r/vinyl
Thanks for the link, great read!
Did you know that a fart made a noise and did that cause any embarrassment?
I knew that farts were a source of humor but I personally never understood why… until my first fart with my new hearing aids on.
Even though I was alone, my face went beet red because it was so loud! I laughed too because I realized I had been ripping huge farts my whole life without a care in the world.
Now, I'm even calling out my friends when they pass wind. Some of them are still not used to me being able to hear and think they can get away undetected. (My nose always picks up the aftermath though so that's probably flawed logic)
Which class would you use to best duel against a Warlock or Shadow Priest?
Assassination rouge. Most overpowered dueling class of all warcraft.
Are you treated any differently by the deaf community, now that you hear?
edit: I understand the deaf community tends to be fairly insular, which is why I ask. Did you feel at all alienated?
Yeah they want me to go back to the deaf side. On a serious note though, deaf people in general won't care if you hear or not... what they do care about is how well you sign.
Understandably so- many deaf people will be insulted if you're deaf and don't know how to sign. I think sign language is a beautiful language that deaf people especially should not miss out on. Some people argue that if you teach deaf people sign they will not talk or prefer not to... I'm grateful I was taught both the spoken word and sign language.
I live in a kind of isolated area and have had the good fortune to meet a handful of deaf folks. I'm good at ASL (for a hearing girl), and I find that my deaf friends are super friendly, and they love being understood. Not many people in the area know sign language, and those who do usually forget everything beyond "my name" and "nice to meet you." Even though I don't understand a lot of the signs my friends use, I like to say, "I may not know the notes you're playing, but I understand your song." ASL is so vibrant, so visual, and such a wonderful language. I wish I was better at it, and I wish more people would take the time to learn a little about it.
Recently, I met a young deaf man who I'd been warned was "kind of a douche," but I was amazed by what he told me. When I relayed some of his story back to the people who had "warned" me about him, they were surprised. They didn't know that he was an author or that he had traveled the country for years writing about deaf culture. Well, of course they didn't, because they never asked! He could hear alright in one ear, and he could speak a little, but he was an absolute whiz with the written word. I know if he'd met someone receptive, he would have happily told them everything he told me. Deaf people are some of the chattiest people I know!
I absolutely love music. I played my guitar for my friend SG once--she was born totally deaf in both ears, and she refused to wear hearing aids because she said the sound of voices was scary to her. I turned my amp all the way up and she sat her ass down on it and grinned at me while I played. She said it was great, and I loved playing for her. But I've always been kind of sad that I couldn't really share my music with her.
So, Sir, I realize I've just rambled nonsense at you in a sub-sub-comment, but I do have one question. It's the most important question of all.
Have you listened to Tool?
Deaf people can be like the French, giving you the cold shoulder unless you make an effort to learn their language. People warned me about French people before I went abroad there but they could have not been nicer to me. I never got lost in Paris because someone was always willing to help or even give me free wine/food/french language lessons.
Deaf people are even more isolated, we have no nation, no city but we have a deep culture and beautiful language. I can't speak for all deaf people but personally, I love it when anyone tries to learn sign even on the most basic level... I mean I went to speech therapy for more than 18 years to talk to you in your language, the least you could do is learn a few words of our language :)
Thank you for going beyond the simple 'hello my name' signs, you showed those deaf people that someone cares enough to learn enough to communicate. You'd be surprised how rare sign language is getting in the hearing community.
I have heard some of Tool, it's pretty interesting but I can't remember that much right now it was a while ago.
If you ever get the chance, go see Tool live (maybe turn your hearing aids down a tad so it doesn't re-deafen you). It is an experience for the eyes, the ears, and the soul. I freaking love Tool (you may have guessed). Or, if softer music is more your speed, Electric President is a really great act. Such harmony. Such beauty. A mix of glitch pop and indie rock.
Were you able to communicate using ASL in France? I have read that French sign language is similar to ASL. Did you find that to be the case?
Thank you for being awesome and for sharing your story with us. If you're ever Arizona, I'll buy you a drink and we can chat in all the languages. :)
I was in France three years ago and got lost with my hearing buddy. A deaf french couple drove us back to our hotel, 20 miles out of town. You're right about ASL being similar to french sign language because the first deaf teacher in America was from France.
I can understand 50-70% of french sign, also ran into french sign again a few months ago in Haiti. The primary language is creole which is deprived from french and english but a good amount of people in Haiti are fluent in french. Most of the deaf people I met in Haiti were signing 100% french sign but one guy knew both ASL and FSL so I was able to patch up any word I didn't understand.
Here's the thing though, I've met deaf people in the UK, Germany, Spain, France, Haiti, Japan, and Mexico. Below is my breakdown of how much I could understand of each sign language-
France/Haiti- 50-70% Germany- 20% Spain- 15% Japan- 10% Mexico- 5% United Kingdoms/Scotland- 1%
Even though people in the UK speak english (with a british accent) the sign language couldn't be any more different. In most sign languages you finger spell with one hand but in the UK they use two hands to finger spell. 100% foreign to me.
There is a international sign language that is being created right now but I know none of it and I've only met one other deaf person that knew a little bit of it.
Will check out Electric President as soon I get my new aux cable!
Deaf also, and this is true. I was also taught to speak and sign. I advise parents who have deaf children to do both - and if the child shows no proficiency with speaking, to not push it. Like everything else, it's innate ability plus hard work. I'm also profoundly deaf and wear hearing aids. I'm used to the wind sound, I just tune it out now.
What was the first song you heard and what do you remember thinking/feeling when it played?
Mozart's Lacrimosa- halfway through the song it hit me like an airplane. I felt a strange sensation on top of my skull like a numbing tingle. Very similar to what I felt during my first kiss :)
As for what I was thinking... the moment after I realized I was actually hearing the song I was petrified with fear because my life would never be the same again and I knew it at that second. It was beautiful but also scary... overwhelming to say the least.
Like a first kiss, I really dig that. Have you heard of Of Montreal? For me they're a audio feast. Check out the album Hissing Fauna, You are the Destroyer and Sundlandic Twins. Their new album, Lousy with Sylvanbriar is really good too. You might want to check it out.
My friends really dig that band, will check out the new album ASAP!
Have you tried playing any games online with a headset now that you can hear the other players? Were you surprised to discover how many high school kids your mother has slept with?
Thankfully I have not subjected myself to that kind of verbal torture.
Have you tried singing or humming at all? How did it go?
I like singing in the car :) I have not let anyone else listen to my singing yet so I might have a terrible or good voice, who knows?
Prior to listening to music, what did you imagine it would sound like?
My perception of music pre-hearing was built from the bass I could feel. I never was able to imagine anything like the pitches I heard but the bass is exactly as I thought it would sound.
I'm on the same page brother. The blues has been one of my favorite genres to listen to... even the ones with no lyrics haunt me. Here is my favorite blues- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNj2BXW852g
As for Led Zeppelin, I did not know they are really blues... makes sense since I already love them. Stairway to Heaven is a particular favorite of mine.
If you have a playlist or whatever please send them my way via private message or here!
Do you consider picking up and learning to play on an instrument? If yes, which one? :)
I have already been playing with an electronic piano. Too much fun, I also used it to help convey what tones I wanted my composer to use in our latest project- Port Au Prince.
I want to learn how to work with the piano on a more professional level and then I want to try a steel guitar next because my friend had one and it sounded amazing.
Congratulations on getting hearing aids to allow you to hear! Thats fantastic news.
My question is no longer relevant, because I assumed this was a post along the lines of "No technology" or "lived in woods" or "hardcore Amish" or something..
So i'll just toss you an upvote and congratulate you again and hope you catch up and enjoy the wonders of music :)
Thank you!!! Hardcore amish sounds pretty catchy, excuse the pun.
What type of music do you prefer to listen to now?
I've found great stuff in all genres but the two genres that have the least amount of trash music for me are Classical and Reggae.
have you experience a live concert by an orchestra (without amplification), if not would you like to?
I have not heard an live orchestra yet but would love to.
Since you've had the experience, how would you describe music to someone who hadn't ever heard it?
Well you know how some paintings just look right with the composition, color choice, etc etc.... well being in the world of sound I'm exposed to a variety of different sounds but they don't really sound great, not close to what a good song sounds like. A great song is like a beautiful painting, all the colors come together to make the right form and mood to inspire. So if I had to describe it to someone who has never heard music, it's like pulling beauty from chaos. Mixing voices and instruments for something akin to harmony.
Harmony exists not just in sound but in visual beauty, what creates it is still an mystery to me.
No because I immerse myself in silence everyday. I have been turning my new hearing aids off more often than my old ones because my old ones were so garbled and quiet. It was kind of like a drone I got used to but with my new aids everything is too clear/loud, I only have them on when talking to people, listening to music, or watching a film. I feel bad for hearing people, I really do. I wish you could have the best of both worlds like I do.
I work at an Assisted living facility and the Residents always turn their hearing aids off when they want quiet. I am jealous and yet thankful that I don't have them. It does allow me to work without fear of being loud at the same time though, so in a way I get the best of both worlds as do they. It does make it frustrating when I want to talk to them though :p.
Silence is something to be treasured, my family is large and growing up I would have given a lot for a quite place to hang out.
I do the same thing to my friends, they hate it when I ignore them and switch my aids off. Sorry but silence is so sweet we can't help it :)
I dunno man, I LIKE hearing sounds. Like the cat pitter-pattering up the staircase. Someone closing a car door outside. Someone in the apartment next door yelling about something. A plane flying over head.
You're missing all of these things when you turn the hearing aid off! Sure, sometimes they're annoying, but they're part of the world around you and you're missing them. I won't knock you for it, because sometimes I do wish I could turn off my ears (2am and you want to sit out front of my house and rev your motorcycle? Fuck you dude!), but most times I'm glad I can hear the world. You should try it more often! Experience the world...all of it...now that you've been given the opportunity! I'm jealous that you get to discover all of this for the first time, I wish I could re-discover sound :)
That's different though, the cat pitter-pattering up the stairs or a soft rain are both soft sounds and it makes it pleasant to hear. I especially love listening to my mom's bengal cat's strange vocabulary. (sometimes he chirps like a bird) So I guess I would classify the soft sounds more like white noise and that's kind of what I had with my old hearing aids but now it's much harder to get the 'peaceful' sound zone.... Pretty easy out of the city up in the woods or on a hike somewhere.
The other sounds though, are loud and harsh... even more for me than you because I'm not used to it yet. So a toilet flush might sound meh to you but for me it's agonizing. However... every flush is less painful than the one before, the first two months with my hearing aids, I had to turn them off before I flushed every time but now I can tolerate it much more.
what is your favourite sound? like running water? laughing children? birds?
Running water is my most dreaded sound, especially when flushing the toilet.
Birds... I had the opportunity to hear exotic birds from Africa in my friend's backyard. It was magical to say the least and easily is my favorite sound besides good music.
Children laughing- I've heard some really annoying high pitched kids but some sound cute if quiet enough :)
Other than birds my favorite non-music sound is rubbing wine glasses with a little water on your finger. It's creepy/beautiful/haunting... first time I heard it, I played for one hour just listening to the different tones I could make.
Do you get a shivering in your body when you hear certain sounds like nail on a chalkboard or Styrofoam rubbing together?
Yes and also if I hear a high pitch drone for some reason like an alarm or something it literally hurts the bones in my ear. (only if high enough of a pitch)
Were voices weird to get used to? For example: I'm sure you were aware that men generally have "deeper" voices than females, but did you have any concept of what a "deeper" voice was before you heard voices?
Yeah some of my friends have a really deep voice and I'm still not used to it, specifically one guy named Kevin... He sounds like a mountain man inbred with Chuck Norris.
If that was your first time hearing music, am I right in assuming it will have been the first time you have heard your own voice? I read an answer you posted below about your vocal training and some of the sounds you struggle with a bit, but what I would like to know is what did you think to the sound of your voice?
Know how everyone says they sound weird when watching themselves on tv or listening to a recording? Same exact thing.
But being able to hear my own voice much more has helped me self-correct my pronunciations on a regular basis.
Since your old thread had 14000 comments, I won't dare trying to find my question in it, but my first thought was a pretty basic one.
How long did it take for you to understand spoken language? What were your first impressions of your family and friends' voices?
It depends on what you mean by understand... my whole life I have been relying on lip reading and a small bit on what sounds I got from my old hearing aids but now I'm relying less and less on lip reading and more on what I hear but overall I'm understanding people much more than before especially strangers.
No big impression on my family's voices but one of my friends has the most majestic mountain man voice. It is deeper than the ocean.
What song was it?
Here is the link to the first song I heard- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1-TrAvp_xs
What led you to to that song?
I studied humanities in college and music education was part of the curriculum so I had to learn about Mozart and Beethoven and the birth of modern music. At the time, I was interested only by their story and it was evident that Mozart and Beethoven are considered the titans of all music. I told myself that if I ever got to hear, I would listen to one of them first so on that night when I was with my friends they asked me what I wanted to listen to... I said Mozart or Beethoven. My friend replied, 'Mozart is a boss.'
Have found any things sound different than you expected them to? That is, have you been surprised that something sounded like it did?
At least once a week. It is like learning a new language and as for surprises- many family/friends sounded different than I thought they would or in other cases, exactly the same.
I'm finding that there are words that I have been pronouncing the wrong way, especially words that sound different from the way it is spelled.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
Check out the list of songs here, all these artists are my top choices.
Have you been to any live concerts yet?
Many! I've heard the blues in New York, beach rock and roll in LA and OC, couple festivals too. Experienced Coachella earlier this year as well. You can read more over at artofthestory.com
I left the audio up to my peers to vote and debate about it on all my projects before my new hearing aids. But since then I've taken a more active role in the direction of the soundtrack, my latest project was a close collaboration between me and my composer, Max Royer. I used a keyboard to illustrate some of the tonal moods I wanted for specific parts. I've only been learning about music for one year now and absolutely love the complexity it can add to any moving image. For one, I cannot wait to work on my next soundtrack, hopefully for Jester.
Hey brother, we went to high school together! I'd be happy to support you in anyway I can.
Hell yes. Let's stick paper clips in wall outlets like the good old days.
Have you ever given Metal a try? More specifically Progressive Metal? If not check out these bands Animals as Leaders, Between the Buried and Me, The Contortionist, Meshuggah... Give it a chance you may really like it. They're really melodic and complex. If you like any of these bands, I know tons of them. So let me if you want more.
Already hooked with between the buried and me... please do send more!
Before you had this awesome pair of hearing aids, how well were you able to understand people talking to you?
Depended on how well I could lip read that person. Also I have had hearing aids since I was diagnosed with profound deafness but it was like seeing outlines compared to what I can hear now. (like seeing every color and detail)
However hearing the 'outlines' did help add on to my lip reading process because I have to fill in the blanks quite often.
Put simply- before I was using 90% what I lip read, and 10% what generic sounds I was hearing. Now the balance has been dipping further on what I'm hearing... right now I would say it's like 60% what I lip read and 40% what I hear. (I'm not lip reading less well, my overall accuracy/understanding rate has shot up since getting my new aid)
Also women are easier to lip read than males because they lack the tendency to mumble.
I can lip read people better the longer I know them but some will always be easy from the start or impossible from the start... hardest thing to lip read of all time? A mumbling scotchmen who has had a few drinks.
My boyfriend recently had an interesting exchange with a few deaf people that were making loud noises (the door slamming open and shut on the deadbolt) late at night in a hotel. I'm sure it was unintentional since they would not be able to hear it.
Now that you are able to hear, is there anything that you do in your daily life that makes noise without you ever realizing it before?
The biggest one I realized was how loud I was chewing food... how loud my farting is... and yes door slams, especially car doors.
I'm sure that in the past you were able to feel the vibrations from subwoofer or loud speaker systems. Were there any instances where you "felt" a song and then "listened" to it? What was the experience like?
Edit: Check out Rhapsody in Blue
Yes, my picture of music before my new aids were based off what bass I could feel but it was an incomplete picture. There were a few songs with heavy bass that I could perceive some harmony with but for the most part nothing really stuck out or made a lasting impression. However if I hold an balloon with good speakers nearby I can feel twice as much vibrations and it has actually assisted me in understanding the difference between low and high tones.
I've always wanted to know this... but if you didn't grow up with music that if you feel "majestic" while listening to any type of music? I know that a lot of music is so powerful is because of association in our lives. Since this is a newer experience in your life, how do you operate now? Thinking, feeling wise!
It's like another layer in my mind. Before I would think of the story and imagery but now I'm envisioning the music that plays during the scenes as well.
Another thing that people don't give music enough credit for is- how inspiring it can be. For me, if I see a great work of art I'm inspired to imagine other wonderful creations or something creative but a great song does the same exact thing. I've made a playlist for when I'm writing but half the time I still write in silence. I love having the option.
Was it really shocking going from no music at all to music? Or did it seem to fit nicely into a mental void that you never knew existed?
Extremely overwhelming. It's still surreal.
How do you feel about the deaf culture possibly getting smaller and smaller because of cochlear implants and things like that? My best friend is deaf and I am pretty good at ASL. I am pretty aware of the diverse culture of deaf people. I hope that it will thrive. I am afraid that hearing parents aren't giving deaf children the opportunity to embrace being deaf. What are your thought?
Also, do you often wear your hearing aids? My friend has them but never wears them because they are annoying to him. He has heard my voice though when I first met him, which was pretty cool.
Are deaf people an endangered species? Absolutely.
What happens when it becomes common practice to remove birth defects before the child is born?
Unfortunately we live in a world that still perceives deafness as a defect.
The Deaf community gets smaller with every generation of technology and babies... but it will never go extinct. Not as long we have deaf families and proud members preaching the silent gospel.
Hearing parents will always have the potential to strip the deaf child of Deaf culture but likewise the parent could also help the child embrace deaf culture. I'm thankful my parents helped me embrace both worlds, they always wanted me to have as much choices as my limited condition could offer.
I only wear my hearing aids when talking with other people or listening to something nice... there's just no beating absolute silence. Even if there's no 'loud' noises in my room, I don't want to hear myself typing or breathing unless I have to.
what is the closest thing you can compare to not being able to hear? Insanely good earphones? A constant ringing? Or just silence?
Pure silence. I don't really know if it's possible for a hearing person to be in true utter silence, I hope it is someday though. It's not fair that the only time you get that peaceful silence is in your mother's womb.
listen to any rap/hip-hop yet? new Lil Durk mixtape is straight fire son
Straight fire son.
Very interesting AMA! My question is: who is your favorite vocalist?
Your 'Eleven Eleven' project seems really interesting. Are you submitting it to festivals any time soon?
I've produced an animated short and submitting it to the festivals this year, so maybe we will rub elbows.
Anyhow, good luck with the project.
I did submit it to a few festivals back when it was released in 2011, it was an official selection in the Newport Film Festival. Best of luck with your animated short! Please send me a link when it's live, either private message here or through my website- artofthestory.com
Did you get hearing aids from being fucked in the ear?
No. I got AIDS.
What has been the most annoying sound and/or song that you've heard since getting the new hearing aids, if anything at all?
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