Silent Notes #D

This thesis explores how music/sounds and typography languages function in deaf lives? It was inspired by the word “Synaesthesia” where in its simplest form it is best described as a “union of sense” whereby two or more of the five senses that are normally experienced separately are involuntarily and automatically joined together. My target audience are people who are profoundly or totally deaf. The objective is to enhance musical/sound experiences in hearing impaired through vibrations, semiotics, tonal typographic languages using visuals and haptic displays. Helping deaf people to see and experience sounds It also explores the notion of catalytic validity whereby a non-deaf researcher investigates deaf people is ‘obliged’ to produce a piece of work which ‘gives back’ to the Singapore community thereby contributing to the process of empowerment and liberation. Promoting equality and inclusion with disabled people.

Friedrich Nietzsche said, “Without music, life would be a mistake”. Music is big part of many people’s lives. For some, music is life. But not everyone can have music in his or her lives.

Sounds/Music is an exceptional tool for helping people to reach everyone. Music creates multiple stimuli, allowing many people to experience its effects regardless of their disability. Music can touch everyone. Rigorous user studies(Suranga Chandima Nanayakkara) with hearing-impaired participants suggested that musical representation for the hearing-impaired should focus on staying as close to the original as possible, and is best accompanied by conveying the physics of the representation via an alternate channel of perception.

Here, Silent Notes #D comes into existence: Providing the joy of music to profoundly deaf people through visual and haptic experiences. The project operates on a number of levels. Firstly it represents a historical piece of research on Deaf Art, Communities and Histories. Secondly, there is a section devoted to the visual, representing examples of works by Deaf artists around the world. And finally, designing the metaphor and construction. In order to keep our focus on sounds and musical experience for deaf people, it is imperative to involve hearing-impaired people in the design loop from the beginning. Therefore a survey has to be conducted with hearing impaired people to investigate the following fundamental issue:

  • How do they experience sounds from their environment?
  • Are they bothered by not being able to enjoy music as much as they would like?
  • What type of assistive devices would enhance their sounds/musical experience?

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