Nova Scotia Journal

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

N.S. singer ‘connecting’ with an audio-described music video, accessible show

N.S. singer

Key Takeaways:

  • Christina Martin collaborated with a consulting firm to make her music available to everyone.
  • When you play Christina Martin’s latest music video, you’ll notice an unfamiliar voice.

Before the music begins, an audio description describes Martin’s wavy blond hair, black dress, and a shadowy setting in a historic house for the visually impaired.

Martin’s move is one way she is working to make her music, website, and live shows more accessible, including one planned for Saturday afternoon at the Presbyterian Church of Saint David in Halifax. “I’m reaching out to a new audience with my art, making a connection, which I believe is a goal for many artists.”

The Saint David’s performance will be wheelchair accessible, with ASL interpreters and live audio descriptions of the stage and surroundings. Those with visual impairments or anyone in need of assistance will receive guided assistance to their seats.

Martin said the performance would be “relaxed,” which means it won’t be too bright, dark, or loud to avoid sensory overload. So, for example, if people aren’t comfortable sitting still for an hour, they can walk around during the performance. “That was very upsetting for me, and I can only imagine how upsetting it was for them,” Martin said.

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Martin said that she received a provincial grant that enabled her to work with the New Brunswick-based consulting firm Sensory Friendly Solutions in her quest to learn more.

Martin worked with Kat Germain, an artist and disability advocate, who provided audio commentary for the Stay With Me video. Blindly Milena Khazanavicius, blind, provided feedback on Germain’s writing and co-host the Saint David’s show with Martin and her guide dog, Louis.

Hazanavicius stated that she has never seen another music video with an audio description aside from Stay with Me. It made a big difference because she was picturing something “completely different” than what was filmed.

She and Martin intend to discuss accessibility in music and the barriers that remain broken down on Saturday’s show. “It’s something I cherish because when I go out, I don’t want that barrier on the street, and I certainly don’t want a barrier when I’m supposed to relax and unwind,” Khazanavicius said.

Source: CBC News

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