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A Time To Love - Press Releases

CBC / Radio Canada

Stevie Wonder makes music video for the blind
May 05, 2005

Stevie Wonder has made a music video equipped with a descriptive audio track designed for his blind fans. The video, which is being described as a musical first, accompanies the release of Wonder's song So What the Fuss.

The commentary track can be accessed with any television outfitted with an SAP (Second Audio Program) function. The description was not recorded by Wonder himself. Instead, he recruited rapper Busta Rhymes to handle the voice-over duties.

"Until now music videos have been very one-dimensional for those who are blind or with low vision," Wonder said in a release. "Now all music-video fans will be able to apply their vision to my video, thanks to the descriptive technique and, of course, a great narration by Busta Rhymes. For me, the entire concept is indicative of what happens when you go beyond the status quo and open yourself up to what's possible."

Wonder is the sightless singer known for classic albums like 1973's Innervisions, which included the songs Higher Ground and Living for the City. According to those who attended the recording session, the description was done by Rhymes with "characteristic flair."

"Only Stevie could come up with a way to let fans that have never seen a video take part in the whole vibe," the hip-hopper said. The video is set in an apartment and shows Wonder performing so infectiously that the surrounding neighbourhood joins in.

"Until now, a visually impaired music fan would be missing out on key elements of music videos," remarked Linda Idoni, who wrote the narration for the video and works for WGBH, the public TV station in Boston credited with pioneering the video-description technology.

"For Stevie Wonder to embrace the description process enables a lot of passionate music fans to enjoy the song in a whole other medium."

Prince plays guitar on So What the Fuss, which has backing vocals by En Vogue. It is from the forthcoming album A Time 2 Love, which is expected out this summer..