Artist and poet Sofia Mattioli’s has directed a music video for Grammy-winning English music producer Jamie xx’s new track ‘Sleep Sound’ that hangs on an interesting concept. Instead of professional backing dancers, Mattioli made the unusual choice to cast deaf members of the Manchester Deaf Centre to dance with her in the video.
The video, or indeed art piece, explores the relationship between sound and silence, whereby the deaf dancers imagine the rhythms to which they dance to. The dancers respond to Mattioli’s movements as she moves to the track, even though they are entirely unable to hear the musical notes.
“I was on a train listening to music, getting deep into it, and this girl started staring at me,” Mattioli explains to online magazine Nowness. “After a while I took my headphones off and she came up to me, started signing and then wrote me a note to say that she was deaf but could almost feel the music by my movement.”
This encounter planted the seed for Mattioli’s idea – to explore how movement can communicate sound without any audible noise.