The enchanting music of sign language | Christine Sun Kim | Summary and Q&A

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The enchanting music of sign language | Christine Sun Kim

TL;DR

This content is about the artist's journey of reclaiming sound as an art medium and the similarities between American Sign Language and music.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What does the musical symbol "p" mean?

The musical symbol "p" means to play softly. When you see a "p" in the score, it indicates that you should play with a softer volume.

Q: How does the number of "p's" in a score affect the volume of the music?

The number of "p's" in a score indicates the level of softness that should be applied. Two p's mean to play even softer, and four p's mean to play extremely soft. However, even with thousands upon thousands of p's, complete silence cannot be reached.

Q: What is the history of American Sign Language (ASL)?

ASL has a history of about 200 years. French sign language was brought to America in the early 1800s and, over time, mixed with local signs and evolved into the language known as ASL today.

Q: How does the speaker, as a Deaf person, understand sound?

As a Deaf person, the speaker understands sound by observing how hearing people behave and respond to sound. Watching their reactions and mirroring their behavior helps the speaker understand how sound works. They have also learned to create sound and observe how people respond to them, leading to a better understanding of sound etiquette.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • "p" is a musical symbol that indicates playing softly, with more "p's" indicating even softer playing. The speaker's drawing of a p-tree symbolizes that complete silence is never reached.

  • American Sign Language (ASL) has a history of about 200 years and evolved from French sign language mixed with local signs. The speaker, who was born deaf, relates their experience of living in a world of sound as a foreigner.

  • The speaker uses ASL to express sound and music through visual art. They explain the similarities between ASL and music, and challenge the notion that ASL lacks social currency in an audio-centric world.

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