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  • Writer's pictureMarium Nadeem

Feeling the music: Deaf fans get access to live music

Updated: Aug 18, 2020

Imagine this: You’re an individual belonging to the hearing-centric world. You hear the roaring sounds echoing in concert halls. You listen to musicians on the streets, the music blasting through speakers in shopping malls and through your radio when you drive.

But now imagine this: You’re an individual of the Deaf community who has struggled for decades. Owing to the lack of inclusion and lacklustre experiences, you put up a fight to simply enjoy something you love. You live in a world where sounds have to be visually-illustrated but are acoustically absent.

Bringing to life a concept little known in mainstream culture, ConnectHear organised the first deaf inclusive concert in collaboration with Strings at Habib University. Due to their diverse needs, the Deaf population has been excluded from enjoying the same event entertainments as the hearing; organising this concert meant putting an end to this discriminatory culture and debunking the myth that concerts are only hearing-exclusive.

A concept unfamiliar to most, this great initiative was made possible by way of our wonderful sign language interpreters. Their interpretation, special lighting, and vibrations of the sound system fed into every person to convey a holistic interpretation of music.

More than 300 people identifying with the Deaf community joined in to celebrate the power of music, and what was a 30 years long journey for Strings and a parting present for the graduating batch of Habib University.

The show kicked off with Deaf models from Amir Adnan’s ramp walk and a visual representation of the national anthem of Pakistan with 600 hands mirroring the same gestures, followed by String’s celebratory album called 30.

With a wide host of vibrations, backdrop lighting, artistic installations, and sign language interpretation, every drumbeat, every guitar chord, every bass frequency, and every vocal note was made accessible. The end result was a dancing, beaming crowd enjoying, and having the time of their lives with every melody they felt.

“Growing up surrounded by music and sound systems, I always wanted to experience it. I am grateful to ConnectHear for making this joyous moment possible for me,” said one of the attendees.

Tugging at our heartstrings, we are grateful for the band and our sponsor Magnus Communications for joining hands with us and making this unforgettable night possible and for Forbes, Tribune, Dawn, MangoBaaz, Business Recorder and Daily Pakistan for covering the event.

Growing up deaf should not limit one’s access to music. Deaf people may be different, but they are not any less equal.

We hope that this is the first of many all-embracing concerts to come that break barriers between the hearing and Deaf communities. We are humbled to have made this venture and opportunity a reality and look forward to teaming up for more inclusivity and leisure for all.

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