Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — One of the things that made the 2017 Metro Manila Pride March memorable was — apart from the outpouring of love and support to and from the LGBTQ community — the Filipino Sign Language interpreter working hard onstage to translate the musical sets, including the Lady Gagita lip sync to Lady Gaga’s Superbowl halftime performance. Metro Manila Pride March has been including sign language interpreters to make the event inclusive to the Deaf community, and to witness such an effort during a musical set (the interpreter was also dancing along to the lyrics) was such a heartwarming moment. Anyone who paid attention can now do “Born This Way” in sign language.
In recent years, music performances and festivals have also been employing sign language interpreters to make musical events more accessible to the Deaf. Interpreting songs isn’t just making direct translations of the lyrics. As The L.A. Times’ Lynn Q. Yu notes in a story on American Sign Language interpretations at Coachella, “Since ASL grammar is different from English grammar, attaching meaning and signs to song lyrics is akin to translating poetry in a different language. Performance interpreters also do character work, taking on the mannerisms of the performers and channeling the moods of their songs.”
This year, Summer Noise 2019 will be featuring an FSL interpreter in all the sets.
“We strive to ensure that our shows are inclusive and provide a safe space literally and also figuratively, to express our individuality without compromising our values,” says festival co-founder Mary Christine Galang.
The music festival, produced by the music production The Rest is Noise — the same team responsible for last year’s All of The Noise — is on its second year and features a massive lineup of local and international acts. Expect American dream-pop artist Japanese Breakfast, American indie rock outfit Turnover, Australian psych-pop trio Last Dinosaurs, Thai singer-songwriter Phum Viphurit and Norwegian sensation Jakob Ogawa, as well as Up Dharma Down (UDD), Cynthia Alexander, Sheila and the Insects, tide/edit, The Ringmaster, She's Only Sixteen, and UPRISING.
Asian acts also performing at the festival are Sobs and Subsonic Eye from Singapore; Manic Sheep and SEN from Taiwan.
The company may have only been around for a few years but its music festivals have been making a mark not only in the local music scene but around Asia as well. The presence of critically acclaimed indie acts prove that The Rest is Noise continues to draw interest from musicians who have a cult following in the Philippines. Last year’s All of the Noise featured acts such as Chilean-Norwegian indie pop-rock band Boy Pablo, Thai rock band Yellow Fang, and returning acts Phum Viphurit and Sobs.
Says Galang, “We believe this to be an incredible opportunity to not only produce a high-quality music festival but keep the spirit of grassroots community that we've built throughout almost four years in the industry, which we believe to be what sets us apart from other music events in the country, and hopefully expand that ethos throughout the Asian region and beyond. In the long run, we want to nurture a community that celebrates diversity, representation and cultural pride."