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Toronto Hosts First Rock Concert for the Deaf

March 1 2009 | by

A rock concert

The first rock concert for the deaf was held in Toronto on March 5 and featured a series of “emoti-chairs” designed to analyze sound frequencies and translate them into vibrations, motions and blasts of air.

The concert was organized by Ryerson University’s Centre for Learning Technology and the Science of Music, Auditory Research and Technology lab. These innovative chairs convert sound frequencies into vibrations that are triggered by the frequency of individual notes in a musical composition or even random sounds.

The concert was billed as the “world’s first” accessible rock concert for the deaf and hard of hearing. Five emoti-chairs that acted as a kind of beat translator transferred sound frequencies into different types of physical actions that could then be felt by the body such as motion, vibration and blasts of air to the face, giving the deaf the opportunity to experience the music. Besides the emoti-chairs, the concert also had interpreters, open captioning and music visualization.

Earplugs for those who can hear were available at the door.

Read more at the National Post

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