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After slowly losing her hearing over the past 22 years, Marilaura realized that the thing she would miss the most was music. She wanted to change that, not only for herself but for others too, “I am certain that nobody should be deprived from all the positive feelings that music triggers in human beings. Music can be felt, not only heard.” So she decided to start Silencio AC, a non-profit organization that aims to make music and entertainment available for deaf and hard of hearing young people in Mexico.
“In August 2016 I went to my ear doctor because It was beginning to become more complex for me to hear people at work. After having my audiogram made, the doctor told me that it was time for me to get a cochlear implant because I had already reached profound hearing loss. I was devastated. The thing about cochlear implants is that it’s pretty difficult to get used to new sounds, the world sounds digital, robotic like, not as we know it.
“Estoy segura que nadie debe de ser prohibido de todos los sentimientos positivos que la música causa en el ser humano. La música debe de sentirse, no solo ser escuchada.”
After getting the implant and crying my heart out, I realized that the thing I would miss the most and was most afraid to lose was music, either live or at home. I wanted to change that, I wanted to find a way to enable myself and keep going to shows, festivals, parties. To keep dancing. That’s how Silencio AC was born.
I had no idea where to start. I just knew that I needed to find the perfect partner and that it should be someone who deeply understood the entertainment and music industry in Mexico. A name came quickly to my mind but it was someone I disliked and I knew it was mutual! So I decided I would pitch the idea to him anyways. I got his number, told him ‘I know we don’t like each other but I have a great idea that I want you to hear before everybody else does.’ He gave me one hour, I showed him a brief keynote. I was almost sure he would say no but he said he really liked it and that we could immediately start working on it. I was shaking. I was prepared for a ‘no.’ I didn’t know what to say when he said he would be glad to collaborate with me. I waited until I got to my car and started sobbing. I was so grateful, I still am.
Sometimes I am afraid of listening to new music because I know I won’t hear all the details. It used to happen to me a lot and got me super angry because I felt not only left out but also outdated. I tried to stick to songs or artists that I liked in my mid-twenties (Metronomy, LCD Soundsystem).
About a year ago I started a relationship with a lovely, super caring man that has helped me a lot in finding ways to enjoy music again. He shows me new songs, he stands in front of me to mimic drums on my shoulders, he uses many speakers in his house so he can lower the volume if we are having a conversation and put it up if there’s a party on the other end of the living room. We have made up our own sign language or we use WhatsApp. We sit next to each other to read in silence.
This might sound cheesy but I found new love and new music, all at once.”
Alicia Vera, @aliciavera, Mexico City & Miami
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