Music and Blindness
Film showing and discussion with Bertrand Chavarría-Aldrete
Location: Red Room

Unveiling the invisible, 2022, 17:01 min.
by Bertrand Chavarria-Aldrete & Gonçalo Duarte

PLEASE NOTE: New time: the film screening starts at 16:00.

How does sound look like? Ana and Carla, both visually impaired, tell us how they “see” and feel sound. This short documentary is a fragment of how sound seems to unveil its mysterious form through the hands and “visions” of the visually impaired.

Unveiling the invisible

Inside the “Plastic Extension” research Bertrand has dedicated an important part to the understanding and learning from the special needs communities and their relationship with sound and music. He decided to collaborate with the visually impaired community to develop a new project of “Plastic Extension” with the music of Spanish blind renaissance composer, Antonio de Cabezón (1510-1566).

Besides the many studies made on cross-modal association (Blasi, D. E., Wichmann, S., Hammarström, H., Stadler, P. F., & Christiansen, M. H., Eitan, Z., & Granot, R. Y.) and Temporal Semiotic Units (F. Delalande). The research in this project approaches an alternative way to understand sound and music avoiding the “positivism” of cross-modal association or the Temporal Semiotic Units approach on precise musical objects/figures.

Unveiling the invisible is a project to create a new catalogue of sounds in physical forms and visual outputs, learning from participants of the visually impaired and blind community in Skåne, Sweden.

In 2022 Bertrand created a deep interview for the visually impaired and the blind that associates sounds (isolated musical notes, intervals, instruments, musical gestures and music) with shapes, textures, resiliency, form, weight, scent, taste, verbal association, elasticity.

Associated with the tests and as a completion of the new catalogue of physical and visual sounds, a series of clay expression workshops will be held to create a new iconographic history of sound, unveiling its form through the hands of the visually impaired in a complete and new dimension of the absent physical form of sound.

This new knowledge will be used to design a series of workshops and Plastic Extensions made new methodologies of music transcription, for the deaf and hearing impaired community, creating a new direction of the research and establishing between both communities a new dialog and information from which we will learn new forms and sensations of music and art.

Read more about Bertrand Chavarría-Aldrete as PhD candidate working at IAC here.

Photo credits: Bertrand Chavarria-Aldrete

Event dates
14 November, 16:00