Deaf View on Music This is about how to entertain us, the Deaf audience, through signing songs. There are two groups. One group is Deaf people who hear nothing and rely on visuals. Another group range from Deaf people who can hear a little to hearing people, and they can listen and see at the same time. Both groups see music completely different. Now, the goal is to entertain the Deaf group who hear nothing. Here are three strategies.
Strategy 1: Lyric Translation The first strategy is about translation. Often signing songs are locked into always following lyrics word for word. This is what causes the Deaf audience to be baffled. The reason is the lyric translation is not like how ASL is used in conversations. It is unparalleled. To parallel with ASL’s common way of usage, the word order can change, and visual concepts can be added in translation. As a result, the Deaf audience be able to understand it explicitly. Yes, often aligning with the timing of songs can cause translation issues but at least you get the idea. Here are some examples.
Word-For-Word Translation vs Authentic Translation “Groove on the dance floor.” “We found love in a hopeless place.”
Strategy 2: “Look” Reaction Addition The second strategy is about the sign “look”. There are two different meanings for the sign “look”. One simply means to “look”. The second is a reaction while signing “look”. This is what we will focus on, the sign “look” as a reaction. In English writing, the reaction “look” is non- existent, while in ASL, the reaction “look” is frequently included. If the reaction “look” is included in signed songs, it looks entertaining and beautiful. It can be used as reacting as first, second, and third person. Here are some examples.
Without “Look” Reaction vs With “Look” Reaction “Just the way you are.” “Baby, one more time.”
Strategy 3: Musical Visual Effects The third strategy is about adding musical visual effects through video editing. There are two ways. One is a screen shake. The second is a moving background. As for the screen shake part, there are different video editing softwares. Be sure to look for a shake effect and use that to shake the screen. Here is an example.
Without Screen Shake vs With Screen Shake “I can’t stop the feeling.”
Next is a moving background. There are two ways to do this. One is to use with a green screen like this. The green background can be keyed out and replaced with any moving background. If you don’t have a green screen, you can have someone film you and be sure to have the cameraperson revolve around you. Here are some examples.
Motionless Background vs Moving Background “I’m in love with the shape of you.” “I feel alive!”
Entertainment for Deaf Audience In short, if you want to sign songs to entertain us, the Deaf audience, include these three strategies. Be sure to sign in a way that ASL is used suitably. Personally, do I care about feeling the actual bass of a song? It doesn’t matter. I am drawn to the visual effects. So, c’mon! Let’s shake it!