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This Man Can Hear For The First Time. What Should He Listen To?

By Ailbhe Malone

Posted on 10 Aug 12

 
 

Imagine hearing music for the first time. And then imagine choosing what you want to listen it. Overwhelming, right? Well, a Reddit User is currently experiencing exactly that emotion.

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The user, real name Austin Chapman, has been profoundly deaf since birth, and his hearing aid rendered music fuzzy and unsatisfying. "I've never understood it," he explains. "My whole life I've seen hearing people make a fool of themselves singing their favorite song or gyrating on the dance floor. I've also seen hearing people moved to tears by a single song. That was the hardest thing for me to wrap my head around."

However, after changing to a new appliance recently, he found that his hearing drastically improved. He writes:
The first thing I heard was my shoe scraping across the carpet; it startled me. I have never heard that before and out of ignorance, I assumed it was too quiet for anyone to hear.

He duly penned a blog post, asking people to recommend him "the most beautiful songs" to illustrate the wonder of music. Since then the whole thing has picked up steam, and Chapman has updated his quest. He explains: "I will be blogging about my journey into the world of music. As many of you have pointed out; music didn't start in the 50's, so I'm going to start with the earliest written form of music… I'm going to start with Guillaume de Machaut's Agnus Dei. (Composed sometime between 1313 and 1365)".

So far, following suggestions from fellow Reddit users, Chapman's favourites are:
1. Mozart's Lacrimosa
2. Sigur Ros's 'Staralfur'
3 Luis Bacalov's score for Il Postino
4. Minnesota's A Bad Place

He continues:
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.
I finally understood the power of music.

It's worth reading Chapman's moving blog post in full (it's had 14,000 comments on Reddit at time of writing). But what would you guys recommend he adds to his list? So far it's very much weighted towards classical. Should he be listening to anything more contemporary? What's the most beautiful music you can think of? Let us know in the comments and we'll put the best suggestions into a Spotify playlist.

 
 
 
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