Toronto invention opens up deaf people to music's good vibrations
When people say they want more feeling in the music, they usually don't mean it literally. But Dr. Frank Russo at Ryerson University does.
He and a team of colleagues and students at the institution's Science of Music, Auditory Research and Technology (SMART) lab have developed something they call the Emoti-Chair (seen in a Star file photo, left).
Embedded in the seat is an array of tiny electronic devices that translate sound into physical vibration. The object is to allow a deaf person to feel music.
There's a great profile of the wondrous chair on the clip from Discovery Channel's Daily Planet, below. My Star colleague Debra Black wrote about the chair in an article on July 2, 2008.
Torontonians have an opportunity to experience the device in a live concert setting today at 3 p.m., as part of the X-Avant New Music Festival at the Music Gallery. The proceeds of the concert, presented by Arraymusic, will go to help the Bob Rumball Foundation buy Emoti-Chairs for its community centres.
Dr. Russo and members of his team will be there to talk about the chair at 2 p.m. and chat with the curious before and after the concert.