If you don’t end up at least dabbing the corner of your eye after reading this story, you deserve to be placed in our next robot round-up, because you’re definitely not human. The Atlantic profiles Austin Chapman, a 23-year-old born “profoundly deaf,” who recently received a new high-tech hearing aid. Chapman said that watching people be moved by music was one of the most puzzling things he experienced as a deaf person.
The first noise he heard post-hearing aid was his shoe scraping across the carpet. Mundane for you and me, and totally startling for Chapman. Shortly after being fitted with the hearing device, Chapman’s friends introduced music.
That night, a group of close friends jump-started my musical education by playing Mozart, Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Sigur Ros, Radiohead, Elvis, and several other popular legends of music.
Being able to hear the music for the first time ever was unreal.
When Mozart's Lacrimosa came on, I was blown away by the beauty of it. At one point of the song, it sounded like angels singing and I suddenly realized that this was the first time I was able to appreciate music. Tears rolled down my face and I tried to hide it. But when I looked over I saw that there wasn't a dry eye in the car.
And now he has 23 years of music to catch up on. A Reddit thread about him has garnered over 14,000 suggestions. Spotify has given him a 6-month subscription to kickstart the affair, which is nice and all, but shouldn’t they have given him a 23-year subscription? As of now, this is his top five list:
1. Mozart's Lacrimsoa... I know it's a depressing song but to me it represents the first time I could appreciate and experience music.
2. The soundtrack to Eleven Eleven... I can see how this comes off as narcissistic, it being my own film and all but it's such a personal work that when I listened to it for the first time I broke down. I felt like I was truly seeing the film for the first time ever. I'm grateful that Cazz was able to capture the tone perfectly. We discussed the film and specific scenes with essay-sized reasoning/deliberations on what should be conveyed. The critical response to the film surprised me and I still didn't quite get it until seeing the visual images coupled with the soundtrack.
3. Sigur Ros's Staralfur... The first song I had to listen to again, over and over.
4. IL Postino-Luis Bacalov
5. Minnesota's A Bad Place