INTERIOR DESIGN: Music for the Bionic Ear

One of the projects we’re working on at the BEI is concerned with making new music, specifically designed for people using cochlear implants and hearing aids. We’ve recently had a bit of success with funding this project. In March we found out we were successful with an application we had in with the Australia Council for the Arts, and last week we were notified of another success, for a Synapse Residency grant, from the Australian Network for Art and Technology.

We’re very excited to be working with Robin Fox on this project. He and five other composers (Natasha Anderson, James Rushford, Eugene Ughetti, Rohan Drape and Ben Harper) will visit the BEI to learn about how the correction of hearing loss by various hearing devices affects the perception and appreciation of music.  They’ll also be given a crash course in cochlear implant sound processing, and the basics of how a cochlear implant works. They’ll then compose some new musical works with these factors in mind, and then have a chance to test these out on some implant-wearing volunteers as well as a cochlear implant simulator we have here at the institute.

It’s all pretty exciting stuff.  We also intend to present these works in a concert sometime towards the end of year, but we don’t have confirmed funding for that just yet.

If you’re a cochlear implant or hearing-aid user who’d like to be involved in road-testing these new works in a few months time, let us know!

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