Today in Second Life we celebrated the beauty of a musician reaching out to his virtual audience and celebrating his rt project. Ridha Ibrahim introduced the Second Life world to his musical project "Kan Ya Makan" that is not only a virtual song but a music video that gives this talented artist the opportunity to reach out to an unexpected audience, Deaf people. The song has been celebrated in the United States for a few weeks now, but it was especially sweet hearing Ridha sing the words of this beautiful love song live. A chill went down my spine as I thought about the lovely words that he has weaved and the fact that it was so important to him to share his talents with all people. What a lovely song, what an amazing artist. The other two hours of the show whirled by too quickly. People stood around a long time after the show, not wanting it to end. What an amazing moment to be part of. I have included an article at the end of this text explaining the "Kan Ya Makan" (Once Upon a Time) video project to give you a little insight. Thanks Ridha, it has been expressed several times by many people that you are a treasure...and surely you are.
A unique music video produced at Madonna University transcends language barriers to inspire, entertain and tug the heartstrings of people from many cultures simultaneously.
Featuring Tunisian-born singer/songwriter Ridha Ibrahim and Livonia resident Kaitlyn Mann, a Madonna University sign language student, Kan Ya Makan or Once Upon a Time will premiere at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Madonna University as part of the University's Diversity Week Celebration.
The video also will stream live atwww.madonnau.com/live. People from around the world will participate in the event in the virtual worlds of Second Life. Questions can be posted on Facebook at Ridha Ibrahim's site. Following the video's debut, there will be a panel discussion regarding all the elements of its creation including the learning process, technical aspects - video, musical and sign language — as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the video.
The impetus for Kan Ya Makan occurred when Ibrahim saw Madonna sign language studentsperforming translations of their favorite songs. “I saw sign language as a way to reach out to the Deaf community with my music,” said Ibrahim, who works to communicate with all cultures through his songs. “Working with Madonna's faculty and students was a great experience. Katie Mann did a beautiful job of artistically translating my words and melody into American Sign Language,” he said.
The song is a love story that blends eastern and western melodies with Arabic lyrics. “Due to my lack of knowledge of Arabic, Ridha and I spent over 30 hours translating the song to English,” said Mann. “This was an opportunity for me to dig deeper than the simple word-for-word approach of transliteration. Ridha explained the song's deeper meanings and allegories,” wrote Mann in her study guide for the project.
In an effort to match Ibrahim's musical poetry, Mann enlisted the talents of Dan McDougall, director of Madonna's Sign Language Studies program, to create a poetic American Sign Language interpretation of the song. “The creative nature of this project allowed Katie to explore concepts of ASL poetry taught in class and to stretch them to their limits with dance. The end result is not uniquely hearing, nor uniquely Deaf - it's somewhere in-between.” Each moment of the Kan Ya Makan video contains symbols - words, signs, images - all chosen and combined purposefully.
Sue Boyd, Franciscan Studios manager at Madonna, produced the music video with assistance from Madonna faculty and students in the Broadcast and Cinema Arts program. There was more to the video than just music and sign. The crew invested 30 hours filming. Then Boyd logged another 200 hours editing - painstakingly matching up frames filled with two languages that she didn't know. “The result is a video that throws open the door to music for members of the Deaf community,” said Mann.
Sign Language Studies and Broadcast and Cinema Arts are among the more than 75 undergraduate academic programs offered at Madonna University.