How can music be transmitted to deaf people? Have you ever imagined a music video clip that deaf community could understand and enjoy? Now this is possible thanks to María Siebald, a Chilean actress and musician whose main goal is to make music video clips for the deaf community. She was born in 1980, and since 2009 has been directing performances and visual activities which use sign language in order to bring deaf people to music and other arts related to it, such theatre and more. María’s work has been recognized as outstanding as it is now very popular among the deaf community and people who enjoy visual arts, winning the Avonni prize in Culture in 2015.
Currently, María is running a project called NZCanal, an entertainment web platform aimed to the deaf community in where they can find a great variety of video clips interpreted by María who “sings” famous songs using sign language.
María’s beautiful labour oriented to give deaf people the chance to discover a whole new world full of possibilities has achieved a big fame on the internet getting over 200,000 reproductions from over 143 countries. And now, she is planning to bring more and more projects that will allow join deaf people with this art even more.
Since she was just a child, Maria has been interested in helping deaf people to understand more about their environment. She used to live near a deaf school and that is why she was always curious about how those people could ever enjoy something such music.
So she decided to use her actress abilities and her choreography knowledge to create beautiful pieces of art that can be adored by everybody, especially by those who can’t hear. “I don’t see deaf people as diseased people. I see them as normal persons who have a musical necessity just as you and me” said María.
Deaf persons can also feel music using their other senses. For instance, they can read a song’s lyric or sense vibrations through their touch. But what María wanted was even better and her projects try to combine a series of elements that can give the deaf a unique feeling.
NZCanal and other projects
The main project which María is working on, is her website NZCanal, a place aimed to the deaf community entertainment in where many video clips can be found. She was trying to find a way to explain and show deaf people what some music elements are, such echos or chorus, in a visual way. As a result, she created choreographies that can explain the music and the dance.
“My work is to explain what music is. How it works and how it can be felt. It is not all about voices or instruments. It has to do with what are they feeling” said María.
Last year, she organized her first concert called “Bahía Inútil en Señas” which took place in Chile. She is also working as an actress, acting in movies such as La Voz en Off and Aurora.