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Come Vibe With Us: World Hearing Day 2023

AG Bell launches new campaign to encourage everyone to celebrate the force of vibration as a way of hearing and communicating.

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By Rin-rin Yu

In her famous “Hearing Essay,” Grammy-award winning percussionist and composer Dame Evelyn Glennie of Scotland wrote about how she could “feel” the music she played, rather than listened. In fact, when she plays, she stands barefoot in front of her instruments in order to absorb the vibrations and the beat to their fullest.

“The low sounds I feel mainly in my legs and feet and high sounds might be particular places on my face, neck and chest,” she wrote in “Hearing Essay.” In it, she also noted that she uses sight as another method of hearing: “If I see a drum head or cymbal vibrate or even see the leaves of a tree moving in the wind then subconsciously my brain creates a corresponding sound.”

She is not the only person who is deaf or hard of hearing who uses vibration to “hear.” Even before the sophistication of hearing technology, people who were deaf and hard of hearing enjoyed listening to and playing music—through rhythm and percussive vibration. Those who had retained some hearing could still appreciate pitch and tone, while others who lost hearing later in life could still recall songs in their heads as they felt the beat on the floor or through other methods. Musicians who are deaf and hard of hearing have described feeling different vibrations and tones in different ways, allowing them to differentiate between notes. Essentially, they can hear through their skin.

Through this kind of perception of “hearing” through vibrations, AG Bell is embarking on a campaign to introduce the idea of “good vibrations,” much like what the Beach Boys were once advocating.

“Vibrations make us feel; vibrations heal us; vibrations move us; vibrations enable us to hear and talk – whether we’re deaf or not,” says AG Bell CEO Emilio Alonso-Mendoza. “Vibrations don’t discriminate – every human being experience vibrations. Vibrations can make us happy, scared, excited, angry, and safe. But how many of us realize their significance, especially to enable us to hear and talk?

“We want to invite our audiences to ‘come vibe with us’ and experience the power and beauty of vibrations to enable us to feel, hear and talk on this World Hearing Day, and every day,” he says.

Did you know? Because of cross-modal plasticity, or the sharpening of other senses to replace the missing sense, people who are deaf and hard of hearing develop more sensitivity in their skin and awareness through sight. It’s a phenomenon that wearable device developers have pounced on, creating shirts or collars outfitted with many microsensors. When worn, these products allow people who are deaf and hard of hearing to be able to enjoy a concert by feeling it through their skin, especially when their hearing technology can’t.

Those who are deaf are not the only ones who can “hear” through vibration. Science has shown that vibrations contributes greatly to the way people – hearing or not – perceive their environment. It sets the tone and mood; it determines pitch and notes; it can heal muscle and create shifts and changes in the earth. AG Bell hopes that with its “Come Vibe With Us” campaign, people in the LSL community – and even those outside it – will learn to appreciate the power of vibration in communication, and celebrate the various ways people can talk, share, and be together.

Vibra con nosotros

AG Bell lanza una nueva campaña para animar a todo el mundo a celebrar la fuerza de la vibración como una forma de oír y comunicarnos

Por Rin-rin Yu

En su famoso «Ensayo sobre la audición», la percusionista y compositora escocesa Dame Evelyn Glennie, ganadora de un Grammy, escribió sobre cómo podía «sentir» la música que tocaba, en lugar de escucharla. De hecho, cuando toca, se coloca descalza delante de sus instrumentos para absorber al máximo las vibraciones y el ritmo.

«Los sonidos bajos los noto sobre todo en las piernas y los pies, y los sonidos altos en lugares concretos del rostro, el cuello y el pecho», escribió en su conocido «Ensayo sobre la audición». Mencionaba también que utiliza la vista como otro método de audición: «Si veo vibrar el parche de un tambor o un platillo, o incluso las hojas de un árbol moviéndose en el viento, en mi cerebro se crea inconscientemente el sonido correspondiente».

No es la única persona con sordera o hipoacusia que utiliza la vibración para «oír». Incluso antes de la sofisticación de la tecnología auditiva, las personas con sordera e hipoacusia disfrutaban escuchando y tocando música a través del ritmo y la vibración percusiva. Las personas que conservan algo de audición aún pueden apreciar el timbre y el tono, y las que la perdieron en una etapa tardía de la vida pueden recordar canciones y sentir el ritmo en el piso o por otros métodos. Los músicos con sordera o hipoacusia describen que sienten diferentes vibraciones y tonos de distintas formas, lo que les permite diferenciar las notas. Básicamente, pueden oír a través de la piel.

Gracias a este tipo de percepción «auditiva» a través de las vibraciones, AG Bell ha lanzado una campaña para presentar la idea de las «buenas vibraciones», de una manera muy similar a la de los Beach Boys.

«Las vibraciones nos hacen sentir, nos sanan, nos impulsan; las vibraciones nos permiten oír y hablar, tengamos o no sordera», afirma Emilio Alonso-Mendoza, CEO de AG Bell. «Las vibraciones no discriminan: todos los seres humanos experimentamos vibraciones que hacen que nos sintamos contentos, asustados, emocionados, enfadados o confiados. Pero, ¿cuántas personas nos damos cuenta de la importancia que tienen, especialmente para poder oír y hablar?

«Queremos invitar a nuestras audiencias a que «vibren con nosotros» y experimenten el poder y la belleza de las vibraciones que nos permiten sentir, oír y hablar en este Día Internacional de la Audición, y en el resto de los días», añade.

¿Lo sabías? Debido a la plasticidad intermodal, es decir, la agudización de otros sentidos para reemplazar el sentido que falta, las personas con sordera e hipoacusia desarrollan una mayor sensibilidad en la piel y a través de la vista. Es un fenómeno que los desarrolladores de dispositivos portátiles han tenido en cuenta, diseñando camisetas o collares equipados con numerosos microsensores. Cuando se utilizan, estos productos permiten a las personas con sordera e hipoacusia disfrutar de un concierto sintiéndolo a través de la piel, especialmente cuando su tecnología auditiva no se lo permite.

Las personas con sordera no son las únicas que pueden «oír» a través de las vibraciones. La ciencia ha demostrado que las vibraciones contribuyen en gran medida a la forma en que las personas, con o sin sordera, percibimos el entorno. Influyen en el estado de ánimo, determinan el tono y las notas, pueden sanar la musculatura y generar cambios en la tierra. AG Bell espera que, con su campaña «Vibra con nosotros» (Come Vibe With Us), los miembros de la comunidad LSL, y también los que no pertenecen a ella, aprendan a apreciar el poder de la vibración en la comunicación y celebren las distintas formas en que las personas podemos hablar, compartir experiencias y disfrutar de la compañía mutua.

 

 

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