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Sign Language Interpreter’s Performance For Stormzy’s Glastonbury Headline Set Is Unreal

by : Julia Banim on : 29 Jun 2019 17:44
Sign Language Interpreter's Performance For Stormzy's Glastonbury Headline Set Is UnrealSign Language Interpreter's Performance For Stormzy's Glastonbury Headline Set Is Unreal@ColinGPat

Glastonbury goers have been left awestruck following Stormzy’s history making set.

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The first black British solo artist to headline the main stage, the 25-year-old rapper gave a towering performance which addressed weighty issues such as gun crime and racial profiling.

There was also another phenomenally talented grime star involved with the groundbreaking set, a woman who has used her linguistic gifts to help deaf fans feel more connected to Stormzy’s lyrics.

Specialist sign language interpreter Tara Asher has left music lovers deeply impressed with her signing expertise.

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As one of just four British Sign Language interpreters in the UK with grime expertise, Tara signed along with Stormzy’s set for the benefit of deaf viewers. And her performance was truly exuberant.

BBC Entertainment Correspondent, Colin Paterson, tweeted footage of talented Tara in action, praising the infectious joy she brings to her work:

Only 4 British Sign Language interpreters in the UK are specialists in Grime. Tara Asher signed Stormzy’s Glasto set for deaf festival goers.

She rehearsed each song for a day. This is joyous. She LOVES her job. Have a watch please.

Tara spoke with BBC 5 Live about the work which went into perfecting her signing performance:

I spend probably approximately a day per song translating it.

Before I come here I print out set lists trying to work out what songs they are going to play, stalk them a bit on the internet and find out what’s happening.

As well as translating the songs, Tara made sure to sign all the conversation and audience participation, making sure deaf fans felt fully included.

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According to figures from Action On Hearing Loss, an estimated 900,000 British people have severe or profound hearing loss, with 24,000 people throughout the UK who use British Sign Language (BSL) as their main language.

People like Tara set a shining example as to how arts and entertainment can and should be made more accessible to those with severe or profound hearing loss. She’s an absolute Glasto legend in her own right.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Music, Glastonbury, Sign Language, Stormzy, Tara Asher

Credits

BBC Radio 5 Live and 2 others
  1. BBC Radio 5 Live

    Being a sign language interpreter for Stormzy

  2. @ColinGPaterson/Twitter

    @ColinGPaterson/Twitter

  3. Action On Hearing Loss

    Facts and figures