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  • This is Amber Galloway Gallego, she's

  • interpreting a song for you in

  • traditional American Sign Language. Now

  • here's the same song but it's in a

  • specialized version of American Sign

  • Language just for music. You might

  • actually recognize this riff it's from

  • "Don't Wanna Fight" by Alabama Shakes. So

  • which one connects you more with the

  • music? Hi I'm Amber Galloway Gallego. She's

  • interpreted concerts in ASL for

  • literally every artist view you could think of.

  • Adele, Kendrick Lamar, Drake. I think it's

  • up to 400 a little bit over 400 now.

  • Amber is a part of a growing number of

  • ASL interpreters that work to translate a hearing centric music world into a

  • visual one. I want to introduce you to

  • three very talented women please welcome

  • Holly Maniatty. That's Holly.

  • and Jo Rose Benfield and Amber Galloway Gallego each of these

  • women is a nationally certified sign

  • language interpreter and even more

  • importantly they have fun with it. ASL,

  • American Sign Language is fairly new it

  • was only technically like really

  • approved in the early 1960s saying yes

  • it's an official language. It has its own

  • rules for grammar and syntax and there

  • are five parameters that everyone has to

  • follow. The first is hand shape. Now this

  • is a sign for mom and this is a sign

  • for dad. The hand shape in both cases has

  • to look like this. You have palm

  • orientation, so your palm can't be facing

  • down or up. And then there's location. The

  • hand has to be placed on the chin for

  • mom and the forehead for dad. And then

  • you have movement. The fingers have to

  • wiggle or they can bounce. And finally

  • there are the nonmanual markers. These

  • nonmanual markers are vital in

  • conveying instrumental sounds. That's

  • going to be the expression here, but also

  • the expression that happens on your body

  • right like usually it's like mom but

  • it's like mah, dah.

  • The deaf community is made up of a

  • diverse group of people who have a wide

  • range of residual hearing. Some might be

  • able to hear lower frequencies like

  • drums or bass but not higher frequencies

  • like vocals or guitars. And of course,

  • everyone can feel the vibrations of

  • music especially at live events. So what

  • the interpreters have done for many

  • years is they've ignored the sounds and

  • solely focused on the English. So this is a

  • sign for music right like this can you see it?

  • So you'll hear music and this is what the

  • interpret does

  • "music"

  • and that's all they

  • do and that's what they have been doing

  • for years and years and years. So here's how

  • Amber solved this problem. I thought about

  • basses and how thick they sound right?

  • 00:03:04,190 --> 00:03:06,840 And when there's a fat person they'll be

  • like this like they'll show a person

  • like this but they do this. You have to do

  • this to show thickness and density

  • right so you'll see my lower sounds are

  • lower put here and then my higher sounds

  • go up and you'll see my facials move to that

  • so I'm like wow like the wow wow

  • wow so you'll see that bow wow and then

  • I show this to show the waviness. There's

  • actually footage of her doing this exact

  • thing on stage with the Red Hot Chili

  • Peppers

  • if we merely show the sign for music

  • then we are doing an injustice as an

  • interpreter.

  • So after listening to the

  • beat and how their their tonality is and

  • all the instruments then what I do is I

  • break it down from English to ASL. So

  • rhyming, metaphor, and wordplay are an

  • intrinsic part of lyrical music

  • especially hip-hop so how do you

  • translate that to a visual form of

  • communication? Let's look at Eminem's "The

  • Monster" featuring Rihanna. Ok where he

  • says "in the draft turn nothing into

  • something still can make that straw into

  • gold chump I will spin Rumpelstiltskin

  • in a haystack" Rumpelstiltskin is the

  • fairy tale about straw turning into gold.

  • So that part is where I take it and I

  • take it the rhymes out of my pocket and

  • I write and then I show it like that

  • like it's like I'm expressing it that's

  • how you like express and then I show it

  • become a gold record and then I say "poom"

  • where he says "chump" where it's like "I beat

  • you." Of course this all has to happen at

  • the rate in which Eminem raps.

  • "It's payback Russell Wilson

  • Falling way back in the draft

  • Turn nothing into something

  • still can make that,

  • straw into gold chump,

  • I will spin Rumpelstiltskin in a haystack.

  • You can also combine two

  • signs in ASL to convey wordplay. Amber

  • did this with Future's "F*ck Ups Some

  • Commas"

  • Fuck up some commas let's fuck up some commas.

  • Let's fuck up some commas

  • This is a sign for like commas like

  • showing the number but I did it with the

  • "fuck up" with "fuck" so i did that.

  • So you might not be able to rhyme in ASL but

  • you can certainly get the cleverness

  • across. You have to truncate your signs

  • to be able to keep up with the beat to

  • make sure it's looking like rap. Since

  • the enactment of the Americans with

  • Disabilities Act in 1990 concert venues

  • have been required to provide

  • interpreters for deaf attendees.

  • When asking to get

  • services that is the biggest

  • barrier that we have in the world today.

  • It's vitally important that concert

  • venues hire interpreters who understand

  • the emotional power of music. Like for

  • example like the national anthem like if

  • you were to interpret Whitney Houston's

  • is going to be drastically different

  • than like Barbra Streisand's right? And

  • we can't just say I'm standardizing the

  • sign and this is what I'm going to

  • always sign. Like for the sign "brave"

  • right you do "brave" and I'll see some

  • people just go through the motions of

  • the actual signs and then they'll do

  • "brave" and Whitney Houston still singing

  • you know going through her long-ass

  • "brave."

  • That's the whole reason to go to music

  • events is to be a part of this experience

  • and forget about the rest of the world

  • and be there in that moment and so many

  • times deaf people are not allowed that

  • experience because we as hearing people

  • choose to say no

This is Amber Galloway Gallego, she's

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B1 US Vox sign amber sign language music deaf

How sign language innovators are bringing music to the deaf

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    Samuel posted on 2018/05/18
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