A Time To Love - Press Release
Stevie Wonder Kicks Off Birthday By Premiering The First
Music Descriptive Video
May 13, 2005
Wonder Unveiled Breakthrough
Music Video Using Description Technology For Blind And Low Vision Music
This Week LOS ANGELES -- Stevie Wonder kicked off his
birthday (which is May 13) celebrations early this week by unveiling a
groundbreaking new music video incorporating description technology at a
Los Angeles press conference this past Monday, asking attendees, to,
"travel with me and see with your ears," providing the audience with
blindfolds to experience the premiere of his new music video, "So What
The Fuss." The debut single from his soon to be released new album, A
Time To Love, is the first music video in history to be enhanced with a
second, descriptive audio track to be made accessible to people who are
blind or have low vision.
Dozens of press conference attendees in both
L.A. and satellite-linked New York City, including Wonder's daughter
Aisha (who appears on the new album) were treated to the historic,
descriptive narration, recorded by hip hop star Busta Rhymes. "Ten
million blind people, as well as those with low vision, will now be able
to 'see' music videos," stated Wonder. "Thanks to this new video
description technique, passionate music fans that have not been able to
share the same experience as sighted fans will now experience music
videos in a more complete way, enjoying what is happening visually as
well as musically."
Linda Idoni, West Coast Director of Operations for
the Media Access Group of WGBH, the Boston Public Television station
that collaborated with Wonder and pioneered the video description
technology, thanked the artist for his devotion to the project.
with Stevie Wonder has been an amazing process," stated Idoni. "By
embracing the video description service, he has created a momentum and
energy that will spread the word and knock down doors, making music
videos more accessible to many--and some day all--blind and low vision
music lovers throughout the world."
Sylvia Rhone, President of Motown,
Executive Vice President of Universal lauded Wonder's initiative from
the record company's perspective. "This project is another milestone in
a long list of humanitarian accomplishments from Stevie Wonder," stated
Ms. Rhone. "On behalf of everyone at Universal Motown, I thank Stevie
and his collaborators for enabling visually impaired music fans to
incorporate their own vision into the music and videos they love."
Busta Rhymes, who begins his effusive narration with the line: "Here's how
it's going down ... " stated in a videotaped interview presented at the
press conference that he was thrilled to be included in "a revolutionary
new standard for how we're going to play this game form now on."
Speaking about the actual process of recording the narration in Wonder's
LA studio, Rhymes joked, "The General (Wonder) cleared the room and
said: just give it to me like you're talking to me."
Wonder's support of
the video description technique stems from his lifelong appreciation of
the visual arts. "I remember when I'd be watching movies with my brother
when I was a boy," Wonder told the audience. "I always used to bug them,
'tell me what's going on. Tell me what's happening.' Well, music fans
don't want to be asking people every five seconds what's happening in
their favorite videos either. For me, this whole process is indicative
of the spirit behind A Time To Love. There's a time to talk about what
you plan to do, and there's a time to actually do something and make a
difference. I believe that anything that you can visualize in your mind
that's for the good of mankind is truly worth seeing fulfilled. It's my
joy to be the first, but this breakthrough is far bigger than me."
Wonder says he and the Media Access Group of WGBH are currently
enlisting other artists to incorporate descriptive narration into their
future music videos, with plans in the works for Wonder to include the
feature in his yet-to-be announced second single/video.
May 11, Yahoo! Music posted the on-line premiere of both versions of the
video, bringing this new description technique to the music community on