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Wannabe - Sign Idol II

Auslan interpretation of 'Wannabe' by the Spice Girls. 

Performed at 'Sign Idol II' in Perth, Western Australia in 2006 by Bryony Calendar and Michelle Cope.


"As a Deaf person, I believe it would be fantastic for the Deaf community to be able to connect to music on this deeper level by having this extra access to the lyrics.  Having full access to this art form would be an outstanding advance for the Deaf community of Australia.


For me, when watching an interpreted song means that I can connect to the music on an emotional level, similar to the way hearing people do.  Deaf people and hearing people experience the same range of emotions – it would be wonderful for the Deaf to be able to experience the same emotional link to music. 


I have 3 hearing children who are all interested in the music scene – if I could see songs interpreted in my native language on television it would mean I could share the experience with them, and relate to why they enjoy the music.


When watching Bryony signing songs you can see the passion that she has for both music and sign language in the way she performs.  Bryony obviously strongly believes in the power of music and is determined to open up this power to the Deaf community.  Bryony appears to be a confident performer with excellent and fast-working interpreting/translating skills – not an easy task with some lyrics.  Good luck with your application Bryony!"

--Jen Hyde, Profoundly Deaf, Member of the WA Deaf Community--

Time After Time - Sign Idol I

Auslan interpretation of 'Time After Time', originally performed by Cyndi Lauper, this version performed by Mark Williams and Tara Morice. 

Performed at 'Sign Idol' in Perth, Western Australia in 2005 by Bryony Calendar and Jason Clemens.
"Growing up in a Deaf family, we always enjoyed the feel of music – we would turn it up loud and feel the vibrations. Yet we couldn’t access the true meaning of the songs, although that didn’t stop my Deaf brother and I from singing in private even though we had no idea how we sounded! It didn’t matter if we were in tune or not, singing in our own home whilst feeling the music felt fantastic! Without actually hearing it, we still got a taste of the power of music.

Being a mother of 2 hearing children, this is the one passion they have that I have been unable to share with them due to me not hearing the lyrics in music. If we were to have sign language interpreters during music video programs, it would mean we can watch the programs together and each have full access to the content. It would mean that the taste of the power of music I felt whilst growing up could be fully experienced and shared within my family.

When I see people signing songs I can feel the music at an emotional level, I feel I can connect with it, I feel like I can sing! It sends shivers down my spine."

--Tenna Kozuh, Profoundly Deaf, Member of Deaf Community of Western Australia--

Down Town - Club West

Auslan interpretation of 'Down Town' as performed by Dolly Parton.

Performed at 'Club West' Drag Show in Perth, Western Australia in 2007 by Bryony Calendar.
"Many people assume that because Deaf people cannot hear, they have no interest in music; however that isn’t true…Deaf people do love music, they can enjoy music through feeling the vibrations, watching the movements, and seeing the facial expressions and body language of the performers.

These days Deaf people can access sign language interpreters for most other situations, such as meetings, in the workplace, doctors’ appointments, etc - but they still don’t have access to music.

Listening to music is a nice leisure activity for everyone…if we could have sign language interpreters on television music programs it would mean that Deaf people can enjoy the experience of music as well!!

Access is of vital importance in all aspects of life, if we could have music become accessible for Deaf people too that would be fantastic!

I have always enjoyed watching Bryony Calendar sign-singing and really want her to succeed in this competition!  It would provide much enjoyment for the Deaf community if this idea becomes reality."

--Patricia Levitzke-Gray, Profoundly Deaf, Member of WA Deaf Community--

You Think You're A Man - Club West

Auslan interpretation of 'You Think You're A Man'.

Performed at 'Club West' Drag Show in Perth, Western Australia in 2007 by Bryony Calendar.

"When I lived and worked in the UK I was fortunate enough to have the Sky+ digibox which meant that I could record a huge number of programmes and then watch them at my convenience. The majority of signed programmes are in the early hours so recording them was vital other wise I would never have got any sleep!

I worked in education for 3 years in a local college and I was the only interpreter on the team who had the digibox, so when I could I would record and copy music and films with British Sign Language so that we could use them as resources. These programmes helped the interpreters to develop signing skills and vocabulary in a way that was informal and fun. It was also useful when some of our Deaf students had spare time - they would sit and watch something of interest to them.

Allowing modern music to be accessible to the Deaf community helped bridge the gap between older and younger members of the Deaf community and Deaf and hearing members of the wider community. It also allowed Deaf parents with younger or teenage children to see what exactly it was that their children were listening too, providing them with the opportunity to 'parent' that aspect of the child's life - something they had previously been excluded from.

We also found that a number of our students who were hearing with additional needs enjoyed accessing signed music too because again it allowed them the opportunity to join in and participate in there preferred mode - not everyone has the confidence in a group to sing along but will participate by joining in with the signs. Just think how quickly the dance floor fills up when YMCA or the Macarena comes on!

Music is such an important medium in the lives of all young people that anything that is able to bring them together and get them communicating and expressing themselves should always be encouraged. So I suppose in summary, I would say that whilst the sign language interpreters are provided to make the service accessible to the Deaf community, it is actually making music more accessible to the wider community by bridging gaps and bringing communities together."


--Michaela Sloan, Manager, Deaf Interpreting Service, Western Australia--

Underground - Cabaoke Night

Auslan interpretation of 'Underground' by Ben Folds Five.

Performed at 'Cabaoke Night' in Perth, Western Australia in 2007 by Bryony Calendar.