By Emer Kinsella- Music composer for film and multimedia
The documentary film Lost and Sound gives an insight into life without hearing and an exploration into the ways that deaf people have re-adapted and rediscovered music through new possibilities of experiencing the art form.
Neuroscientific research on music shows us how important and effective music is on our well being and can be felt on a physical level by everyone. Experiments into cognitive activity with deaf people listening to music suggest that they can feel vibrations in the same way that hearing people can hear music. Deaf performing musicians often perform barefoot to better feel the vibrations through their bodies. The response on the brain to these vibrations creates the same pleasurable reactions that someone would experience when hearing music.
Surgeons should also be careful to preserve the auditory cortex when performing brain surgery on deaf people as it holds an important function beyond hearing. Beethoven composed one of his greatest works, his ninth symphony while deaf, proving that it is possible to create and connect to music without being able to hear. Adding captions describing sound cues are useful additions to visual mediums. This gives deaf people a better idea of which sound environment to expect and feel in relation to the visual material.
Lost and Sound is showing on Sunday September 13th from 2:00-4:00pm. Be sure to check this one and other films out at Reel Abilities film festival.