Concert Listening Technology for People with Hearing
Editor: Many people with hearing loss know the trick of holding a
balloon to feel music. It's a standard technique at ALDAcon's Karaoke
night. Here's a story about a high tech version of that technique that
will be provided at a Los Angeles concert in June.
Renowned jazz pianist and composer Keiko Matsui, recognized as a
Japanese national treasure, will perform with the Asia America Symphony
Orchestra on Saturday, June 9 at 8 p.m. under the baton of Music
Director and Conductor David Benoit. The concert will take place at the
George and Sakaye Aratani Japan America Theatre at the Japanese American
Cultural and Community Center, 244 S. San Pedro St. in the Little Tokyo
area near downtown Los Angeles.
With generous funding from Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc., the
concert will feature the U.S. debut of Pioneer's listening technology
for the deaf and listening impaired. Pioneer has invited students from
local universities and college campuses that are well-known for their
deaf studies programs, as well as members of local advocacy groups, such
as the OC Deaf Equal Access Foundation (OC DEAF) and the Greater Los
Angeles Agency on Deafness (GLAD), to attend the concert free of charge
to experience the music of Matsui and the Asia America Symphony
Orchestra using this innovative technology.
Known as "Listening Through the Body" in Japan, Pioneer's
technology has been tested successfully and is used at leading Tokyo
concert halls. It features a vibrating seat and speakers at ear level
that allow users to feel the rhythms and vibrations of the musical
performance. The system can be used with or without a hearing aid.
Japanese concertgoers who have used the Pioneer technology -
including those who lost their hearing in adulthood-say it allows them
to enjoy music. Employees at Pioneer's headquarters in Tokyo, where
concerts for the deaf and hard of hearing are held monthly, report that
users of the listening system are often overcome with emotion when
experiencing musical performances for the first time. For this reason,
Pioneer's dedicated and passionate sound engineers have developed and
refined the listening system as a labor of love.
"As part of our ongoing commitment to the arts, and to
innovations in audio technology, we are honored to partner with the Asia
America Symphony Orchestra to sponsor this concert featuring Keiko
Matsui," said Tom Haga, President of Pioneer North America, Inc.
and Board Member of the Asia America Symphony Association. "As we
celebrate the performance of one of Japan's best-known musical artists,
we are honored that our listening technology will allow local students
who are deaf and hearing impaired to enjoy her performance."
Born in Tokyo and known for her smooth jazz compositions and piano
artistry, Keiko Matsui has released more than twenty albums (CDs) with
her newest, entitled "Moyo" (Heart and Soul), released in
April 2007 by Shout Factory. For information, visit www.keikomatsui.com.
The June 9 concert will also feature works by Ravel, Copland and
others. Tickets ($25-$75) are available at www.asiaamericasymphony.org
or by calling 310-377-8977.
Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. is headquartered in Long Beach,
Calif., and its U.S. Web address is www.pioneerelectronics.com. Its
parent company, Pioneer Corporation, is a leader in optical disc
technology and a preeminent manufacturer of high-performance audio,
video and computer equipment for the home, car and business markets. The
company focuses on four core business domains including Blu-ray Disc and
DVD, display technologies, navigation and Digital Network