Deaf People Share How They Experience Electronic Dance Music

sonic pulse documentary

Music shouldn’t be defined by hearing people because it’s about feeling vibrations and frequencies.

Have you ever thought about how deaf people and those with hearing difficulties experience music?

A brand new award-winning documentary, Sonic Pulse is exploring the multi-sensory experience of electronic music for deaf people. It explores deaf people’s experience of electronic music from a visceral, communal, and scientific perspective.

Filmmakers Dorothy Allen-Pickard and Antoine Marinot explore this concept from the perspective of three deaf people, tapping into the universal language of this movement.

Through protagonists, Helen Oakley, Troi Lee, Richard France, in the documentary we learn about the transcendental tendencies of electronic music, how bass penetrates, and why detriment against deaf music fans may still be an issue in clubs.

Each person talks about their experience with club culture, how they’ve been denied entrance into clubs due to their hearing impairment, and how they’ve overcome this discrimination to fully enjoy the music itself.

Dorothy and Antoine explain their thinking behind the film, why electronic music resonates so deeply with the hard of hearing, and what more can be done to ensure accessibility for all.

According to Richard France says “Music shouldn’t be defined by hearing people because it’s about feeling vibrations and frequencies,” and when people feel them they have a different sensual experience compared to if they hear them. We need to take on board what people with experience of hearing loss and deafness have to teach us about sound and the physicality of music, as their perspective is often overlooked, but can provide the most insight.