NZ Canal’s music videos for deaf people is the brainchild of actress and dancer Maria Siebald. Five years ago Maria started Nerven&Zellen a non-profit Chilean performance group to share her love of music with the deaf community.
Maria’s interest in sign language began as a child while living near a school for deaf children. Maria saw the deaf children gesturing and moving their hands and body very fast but could not understand any of these gestures or movements.
Maria wanted to learn their secret language.
Fortunately for Maria her mother knew the alphabet in sign language and taught Maria.
After studying sign language for two years at the Chilean Deaf Association, Maria made her first music video for deaf people to see if it would work.
The deaf community LOVED IT!
“I cannot imagine my life without music. As an actress and dancer all my work is based on music. I thought body, dance, body expression, language, signs, sign language, deaf and music. That is the only thing deaf people cannot access … music! So this is what we must to do” said Maria.
In 2014 Maria traveled to Camden the home of Amy Winehouse to start a dialogue between the Chilean and British communities. With the support of a sign language teacher, Maria chose to sign Amy’s hit single Tears Dry On Their Own on video as the lyrics are contemporary and many have their own story of love and despair.
Also in April of 2014 Nerven&Zellen created the first ever free music concert in Santiago de Chile for the deaf community.