VISION THROUGH SOUNDS Blind at the age of three due to an epidemic
of diphtheria that swept through his hometown of Sagunto, Spain, composer
Joaquín Rodrigo (1901-1999) survived both world wars, the Spanish Civil War
(1936-1939), and numerous personal challenges to become one of the most beloved
musical figures of the twentieth century. The project VISION THROUGH SOUNDS will introduce his life
story and select music compositions, providing a historical perspective of a
young, visually impaired man growing up in a time without technology,
accessibility, or advanced tools. He was
faced with incredibly scary and difficult situations—including educational
challenges, social outcast, and political unrest—in his inequitable
environment. And still, he persevered
and became one of the most beloved composers, offering exceptional gifts to the
world. Distinctive in approach, VISION THROUGH SOUNDSoffers the experience aurally: history,
music and perceptions are communicated completely through sound.
VISION THROUGH SOUNDSis a narration based on a recording titled El niño soñó la música (The Little Boy
Who Imagined Music), published in 2003 through the publishing house of the
composer’s only child Cecilia Rodrigo, Editorial Joaquín Rodrigo.
Translated into English, the reading of the script also includes
inserts of sound clips: effects like thunder, rain, children playing, and bird calls enhance the listening experience.
There are only two personnel required
to present the research: a narrator, and Dr. Dena Kay Jones, the pianist
performer. This thirty-minute
experience (of combining the reading of a script plus the inserts of audio
clips) is followed with a twenty-minute live performance of select Rodrigo
piano pieces. The program is followed with dialogue between select students and Dr. Jones. With the assistance of
teacher educators who work daily with the students, Dr. Jones is eager to hear what the
students have to say after they have had a chance to reflect upon the presentation.
today, Dr. Jones' research has touched just a small number within this specific
community, whereas it has reached many more sighted people. She wants to help even that
exchange, encouraging all people to better understand each other and ourselves. The potential of this type of presentation can
be limitless, as the model could be used to introduce the work of other composers,
musicians, athletes, business executives, scientists or anyone who has
responded to the challenges of being visually impaired, to not only students
attending State Schools for the Blind, but to any educational resource
within the U.S. and beyond.
Participating Schools: 1) Colorado School for the Blind, Colorado Springs and 2) Illinois School for the Visually Impaired, Jacksonville