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Radiohead, Devo Among Deaf Man’s New Joys After Gaining the Ability to Hear

Thom Yorke
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

A 23-year-old filmmaker who was born profoundly deaf and only recently gained the ability to hear is discovering the joys of music through an eclectic assortment of bands, ranging from alt-rock acts like Radiohead and Devo to classic rockers like Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones to straight up orchestral classic like Beethoven and Mozart. ”Radiohead is already one of my top five favorite living bands,” he tells Yahoo! News.

Austin Chapman can thank his newfound hearing to a bright orange, state-of-the art hearing aid that gives him extremely increased fidelity (he’s had hearing aids before but could only hear the low-end sounds of a bass guitar). He compared the experience of his new hearing aid to seeing a new color for the first time, but quickly changed his mind and had another similarity in mind: ”It’s like the first time you kiss a girl,” Chapman tells the AP. “It’s like that.”

The new ability is especially valuable for Chapman, who was never really able to hear the music featured in his own films. He also sought to expand his musical horizons by posting a note on Reddit asking for suggestions. More than 14,000 flooded in, recommending everything from the Beatles to Vampire Weekend.

“I’m waiting until I have a really good sound system,” he says of his plans on listening to the Beatles. “I want to sit down, and when I hear the Beatles for the first time, I want to really hear the Beatles.”


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