Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Songs for the deaf

An interesting proposition came through the other day.

Not since a christmas shindig at the Bush Hill Park Tavern last year have the CD decks been dusted off, and bookings aren't as regular as they used to be, but somehow word still gets around... and Bubblegum Stomp have been asked about availability for a 50th birthday party next month.

They were asked what type of music they expected and had a preference for...

It turns out that the soon to be septegenarion is deaf, and so will be most of the guests, so we can play anything we want!

But personally I find the whole thing rather daunting, the age range is certainly a consideration, but presumably the standard party tunes should suffice, but I'd also rather make the extra effort to make the event memorable.

In my old life, time to research properly and gather tunes would have been plentiful, but things have changed and time is a luxury that I never seem to have enough of, I understand that deaf people feel the songs more through the vibrations, of the bass and the drums, and I think from a sensory perspective there is enormous scope to play wonderful and interesting tracks of different rhythms, of different continents and wildly different genres... 

And ideally I would love to source someone to sign alongside some of the songs as we play them, adding a whole new dimension to a DJ set that would be thoughtful and inclusive, not just playing what we please since no one can hear it anyway.  Blondie's set this year at Glastonbury featured two people signing the lyrics to the songs throughout, and visually it is interesting, and at magical moments it is truly captivating, creating an almost dual-purpose dance move that is both fitting and functional all at the same time.... Instead the closest we are likely to come is playing YMCA and doing the actions.

who knows, it is still up for discussion, but I don't feel that I would be ready to do it justice.

Credit where it is due: artwork sourced from deviantart user, givepeaceachance

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