Sound Box 

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Olivia Ting

photographs | (part one of two)
short film | (part two of two)

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Into Beethoven’s Sound Box

Beethoven’s “Heiligenstadt Testament” was my catalyst rebridging my relationship to the piano after lapsing nearly twenty years. It brought back painfully the moment when I realized I had no hearing left in my right ear. 15 years later, I received a cochlear implant. I knew that it would not mean instant hearing; nevertheless the time felt right for me to resume my piano studies again. I looked to Beethoven, thinking how we deaf people access sound multi-sensorially—through sight, touch, vibration, patterns. And, like Beethoven, I have had an aural experience, one that was achieved with hearing aids, but it was natural hearing, so it has a particular quality that held in my memory. Like all artists, I think one has to experience something internally to begin crafting a piece. Imagination has to start from a memory. This video is a journey connecting the audiovisual sensation of seeing sound and hearing visuals through my body, technology, my 1940 Steinway, and Beethoven’s Appassionata.

Video: footage shot, compiled and edited by Olivia Ting
Soundtrack: by Delia Casadei
Music excerpt at beginning/end: Beethoven Sonata No.23 in f minor, Op.57, (Appassionata) performed by Olivia Ting

note: the static overlay of the audio in the beginning is intentional: it is the sound of the cochlear implant and tinnitus. 

stills from short film

©Olivia Ting 2020
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