The band UNMUTE was created as part of the protest against excluding the deaf from pop culture which came after the premiere of the music video for the song “Głośniej niż decybele” which, itself, was part of the social campaign of the Polish Association for the Deaf. The band UNMUTE wanted the whole world to hear them. The musicians did not only talk the talk but they also walked the walk when they signed, “Can’t you hear us? Things have to change!” This is a breakthrough moment in a culture that is intended to be accessible to everyone. Although we have seen and heard many talented people on the Eurovision scene, nothing like this has ever happened before!
Music for all – no limits.
“The formation of the band, UNMUTE, turned out to be a very important event for the deaf community. For the first time, we have shown that some pieces of music may not be accessible to the hearing person. People who do not know sign language, that is, a significant part of our society, without text or subtitles will not understand this work. I think that the appearance of the UNMUTE band at Eurovision will leave a permanent mark on the consciousness of the hearing in Poland and Europe; it will show that the deaf can also be artists and creators and that music should be available to everyone. Moreover, we will be able to count on the support of the deaf community from all over Europe.“– says Krzysztof Kotyniewicz, President of the Polish Association for the Deaf.
It is an amazing event for the world and means even more for the artists themselves. How do they feel as the first deaf people to have been entered for the Polish Eurovision pre-selection?
“This is a high bar for us, but we can show the Deaf that we are here. They can then follow our example and move on. People from different cultures take part in Eurovision and we also have our own culture. We take part in it to show that the deaf are also able!”– say all members of the UNMUTE band unanimously.
The music industry unanimously says “YES!”
Applying for Eurovision pre-selection arouses emotions not only in the group of young artists, but also in the music audience. Music journalists also support the initiative.
“An unusual project proving that sometimes, a few sounds mean more than a thousand words. I support them wholeheartedly and something tells me that the European public might love them. It is hard to find a more open and tolerant place than Eurovision. I hope that soon it will be all over the media”comments Kamil Baleja, a presenter of the morning programme on Radio Złote Przeboje/Radio Golden Hits/
Jarek Szubrycht, a music journalist of “Gazeta Wyborcza” and Editor-in-Chief of “Nowa Gazeta Magnetofonowa “- has a similar opinion.“I listened to the song with delight and watched the UNMUTE music video demanding access for the deaf to participate in culture and thus also to cocreate it. Should the song “Głośniej niż decybele/Louder than Decibels” be considered as a Polish candidate for the Eurovision Song Contest? Of course! Should it win? I don’t know. The best should win. Fingers crossed. I’m waiting for the record.”
This manifesto for the deaf is important for the entire music industry. Michał Szpak who represented Poland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2016, expressed his enthusiasm and delight.
– “FANTASTIC! For years, Eurovision has not only been a contest of great voices, but of creativity, above all. The whole world should appreciate this vision of music. Moving and full of energy at the same time.”
The artist is convinced that in cooperation with a good director, the band can create an extraordinary spectacle that will reach the hearts of people. – “For several years we have represented a very old-fashioned way of performing. This band and contemporary creative shows? I believe it can conquer all of Europe.” – adds Szpak.
Sarsa, a Polish singer, songwriter and composer, who was selected to participate in Eurovision by Swedish portals in 2016, also spoke about UNMUTE’s application for the Polish Eurovision pre-selection. – “Specialising in music therapy, I realised that sound is primarily a stream of vibration which penetrates our interior and not only through the sense of hearing. This energy, depending on the intentions of the creator, carries different messages and evokes different emotions. Eurovision is undoubtedly an opportunity to build awareness that we are all equal, that diversity is beautiful, that this invisible thread, this ‘sound’, connects us, regardless of any differences, experiences, gradations of values or senses with which we perceive the world.“- says Sarsa.
This is a historic moment that could change our culture forever. Let the world hear the voices of the Deaf!