↳ Client: Research Project
“…there is a common misconception that deaf people live in a world of silence.” Evelyn Glennie (1993). Deaf people can experience music. There is not a loss of music; it is just a different experience of it.
The DF Sharp research investigates the way in which deaf people experience music.
The audience has been defined as both deaf and hearing people. The aim of this research is to share the knowledge gained through the journey into music and deafness. To make people aware of the fact that music is also for the deaf, trying to include them in the music industry and events. Finally, to encourage deaf people to get involved with music, and get advantage of all its benefits, and to educate people on how to fully experience music, using the senses of hearing, touch and sight. 
Special thanks to: Russ Palmer, Paul Whittaker and Danny Lane, owners of Music and the Deaf organisation, and Ruth Montgomery, Jennifer Castellano and Peter Stelmacovich

THE LOGOTYPEThe research has been named ‘DF#’, which is a musical chord. Furthermore, ‘D’ and ‘F’ (‘de’ and ‘ef’) sound like the word ‘deaf’. 
THE BAG - A bag, which packages all the sub-projects together, has been designed. The user can hold the bag close to a speaker or speak close to it and feel the vibrations of music.​​​​​​​
THE BOOK - A double, due to its format, book, which provides information about music and deafness, has been designed. The first book/part presents people’s beliefs about music and deafness, and the second one reveals the truth about it. Its medium is quotes, mainly from deaf musicians, which allows the content to be trustworthy. It contains people’s criticism towards deaf musicians, it explains the importance of getting involved with music and its advantages, and how to experience music in different ways, through the senses of hearing, touch and sight. It describes the way in which deaf people can play in a band and it suggests musical instruments, user friendly, for deaf people.
THE WEBSITE - A website, which provides up to date information about music and deafness, and allows the research to be continued, has been designed. It includes the following pages: about, our news, music and deafness (includes the whole research), the campaign (presents all the sub-projects), the forum (allows people to express their thoughts) and contact us.
THE BALLOON MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS - Deaf people are using vibrations to better understand music. “Vibrational information has essentially the same features as sound information.” by Tulsa World (2002). They can be easily felt by using balloons. “…are provided with balloons which they can hold on their fingertips in order to ‘feel’ the musical vibrations”, by Stainthorpe (2013). These two facts, were the inspiration behind the creation of musical instruments made out of balloons, the ‘Balloon Guitar’, the ‘Balloon Snare Drum’, the ‘Voice Balloon’ and the ‘Balloon Music’. They allow the user to play music and easily feel its vibrations. Cards, placed inside the instruments, and videos with information on how to make the various instruments, have been created.
THE BALLOON TURNTABLE - Deaf people are using vibrations to better understand music. They can be easily felt by using balloons. Inspired by those two facts and the vinyl record furrows, which are made out of music vibrations, allowing to easily be reproduced, the balloon turntable has been created. It achieves something that other mediums can not offer. The volume of the sound played by the vinyl records is low enough, obstructing someone using earplugs to hear it. At the same time, it allows the user to easily feel the natural music vibrations on the balloon he or she is holding. An information paper and a video, with instructions on making and using the balloon turntable, have been created. The audience for this product is mainly hearing people who want to fully experience music using their sense of touch, like deaf people do.
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