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Music by VICE

Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" Was Re-Arranged Using Only Frequencies The Deaf Can Hear

Dutch composer Kyteman played the song as a deaf 19-year-old consulted about whether her implants could detect the music. Then, an orchestra re-arranged the single using only those frequencies,

by Beckett Mufson
Sep 4 2014, 8:50pm

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Dutch composer Kyteman, working in collaboration with a deaf 19-year-old named Vera van Dijk, has composed a song using only frequencies detectable by a cochlear implant—a device which allows the deaf to regain limited hearing capabilities. Van Dijk recently received one such implant, opening a whole realm of personal and professional possibilities to her, including the chance to participate in the specially-tailored concert.

Throughout two trial-and-error studio sessions, Kyteman and his bandmates played music at varying frequencies and volumes, consulting van Dijk about whether or not she could hear them. Once they had gathered all the data, they wrote a cover of Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" using only the notes van Dijk had approved in their studio sessions. The result was a live concert performed for 400 people—the first that van Dijk could fully participate in.

Her experience was further enhanced by a mobile videochat with her brother, whose lips she read in order to understand the song's lyrics. "It was definitely a challenge to arrange the song for Vera," Kyteman told The Daily Mail. "But when I saw her enjoying every moment during the concert, I knew it was mission accomplished."

Below are a few snapshots of the composition process, plus a short documentary about the project—skip to 5:07 to watch the full concert footage.

Go to Kyteman's website here to enjoy more of his amazing work.

h/t The Daily Mail

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Original Creators: Experimental Composer Steve Reich