Austin Chapman is profoundly deaf, but with new hi-tech hearing aids he recently received, he was able to hear music for the first time in his 23-year life.
That night, a group of close friends jump-started my musical education by playing Mozart, Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Sigur Ros, Radiohead, Elvis, and several other popular legends of music.
Being able to hear the music for the first time ever was unreal.
When Mozart's Lacrimosa came on, I was blown away by the beauty of it. At one point of the song, it sounded like angels singing and I suddenly realized that this was the first time I was able to appreciate music. Tears rolled down my face and I tried to hide it. But when I looked over I saw that there wasn't a dry eye in the car.
Chapman asked redditors to recommend music he should listen to, and got 14,000+ responses. Read his account of the experience at Art of the Story. Link
Rebecca Rosen at The Atlantic wanted to find out how Chapman's musical journey is coming along.
I exchanged emails with Chapman to get more of a sense of what music he is enjoying and what he hasn't quite warmed to. The first and clearest thing that comes across: Taste does not take long to develop. Right from the get-go Chapman had a very strong (and, in my personal estimation, very good) sense of what he liked and did not. Top of the like list? Classical music, which he said was "the most beautiful genre to listen to." Country was, so far, his least favorite. "It's very heavy on vocals and since I can't clearly understand the words, the story is lost on me. Instead it just sounds like a man or woman crying for a couple minutes."