Breaking Musical Barriers

02 March 2011 by: Rose Quilter

In a very unique and unusual awareness raising event, two DeafBlind musicians will perform a gig on guitar and piano on Friday, 4thMarch, 2011. Russ Palmer, a music therapist and songwriter, will travel from Finland to Cork to perform with Orla O’Sullivan, the world’s first DeafBlind music teacher, pianist & performer, in the Cornstore Bar & Restaurant (Cornmarket Street, 7 to 8.30pm).  The duo will also present a Masterclass, entitled “Two Musical Journeys – a DeafBlind Perspective”, in the Cork School of Music on Saturday, 5th March (2 – 4pm). Both events are open to the public but the Masterclass may be of particular interest to students of music, disability studies, music therapy or psychology.

DeafBlindness is a rare condition and many may not appreciate the implications of living with this condition. Both Russ & Orla have dual sensory losses which prevent them from participating in many of the usual activities that others may take for granted (unless there is a suitable interpreter at hand). They see this as a rare opportunity to raise awareness about DeafBlindness and to promote the benefits of music in dealing with daily challenges in life.

“Through my music I have found a freedom – freedom to entertain myself, to feel uplifted and worthy, a sense of achievement and getting noticed when I performed, instead of being ‘left out’.” Orla O’Sulivan

Further information on Russ and Orla can be found in their websites http://www.russpalmer.com and http://www.orlaosullivan.ie 

Performance: Friday 4thMarch (7:00-8:30pm), Cornstore Bar & Restaurant, Cornmarket Street, Cork

Masterclass: Saturday 5th March (2-4pm), Cork School of Music, Union Quay, Cork.

For more information: 087-6175334

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