You Say You Wanna Gloss With Us: Encountering the Bodies of Communication by Translating Music for Deaf Audiences
Advisor: Alicia Moore
My project is one that questions the idea of normality in a very interesting way, a way that most of us can grasp easily. It questions normality through questioning how we experience music. Typically we think of music as something that we experience aurally, something we hear. But, when attending a concert, if we stopped for a moment and began to recognize our bodies- truly pay attention to the ways in which our bodies come into contact with rhythm- we may realize that music is something our entire bodies experience, not just our ears. To further understand how this phenomena may take place, or how we can learn to experience music through our bodies, we can turn to the Deaf. The ways in which Deaf individuals experience music can teach hearing individuals how to pay attention to, relate to, and take away from music in a, possibly, more meaningful way. Or at least a different way. Once we begin to understand how music can be experienced differently, we may begin to look at other aspects of our world as well, asking ourselves the question of “am I creating barriers of experience for myself and oppressing others in the process? If so, how can I stop?”
Through reading multiple books, analyzing a video of Matt Maxey (a Deaf man who interprets rap music), and attending concerts in which musical interpreters are present, I evaluate the ways in which hearing audiences can learn about and take into account the “Deaf way of being” in the world, and maybe learn about their own ways of being in the process.