Saturday, March 25, 2017

BRAILLE MUSIC (Directed by Michael House) *****

An intensely fascinating look into the development of Braille as six blind musicians bring to life the poem “Hope” written by Emily Dickinson. The director travels to Paris and England to uncover the various schools that invented systems of reading for the blind. Valentin Haüy was the founder, in 1784, of the first school for the blind, the Royal Institution for the Young Blind in Paris.  In 1819, Louis Braille attended the prestigious institute. 

Now Braille has the name of the school there.

We meet all the artists and witness them talk about the effects of being a blind musician, and how the technological advances of Braille allow for inter-global sharing of music via the Internet and Braille music.  The immense legacy of Braille culminates in a work written by the clarinettist in the group in honour of the master. They learn the piece and record it the same day. This film is in 4 “bars” explores the development of teaching music to the blind, (House travels to discover how this started and where it ended up); meeting blind piano tuners, meeting the musicians, and following the challenges each has to bring “Hope” to its musical recording. An excellent documentary that all should see, and hopefully it will be transposed into Braille so that the blind can actually hear and “watch” this film too. (Screened at FIFA).

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