Amber Galloway Gallego is a ASL interpreter who has developed new techniques and expressions to translate popular music into a richer experience for deaf and hard-of-hearing people than just simply translating the lyrics.
If you frequent music festivals and concerts, you might see her — or an interpreter like her — grooving to the music, mirroring the emotions and physicality of the artists onstage, interpreting their imaginative lyrics for concert-goers who rely on visual accommodations. She’s interpreted for more than 400 artists at this point, and has a special knack for interpreting hip-hop acts.
Part of the challenge here, particularly with fast-moving rap or hip hop, is combine or abbreviate signs in order to keep time with the lyrics. See Shelby Mitchusson performing Eminem’s Lose Yourself or Gallego doing a faster song of his, Rap God:
Oh, this is my favorite thing of the month: Shelby Mitchusson performing Eminem’s Lose Yourself in American Sign Language.
Great song and a great performance. Em, sign this woman up for your next tour! (via devour)
Update: Amber Galloway Gallego is an American Sign Language interpreter who specializes in doing rap and hip-hop concerts.
As an American Sign Language interpreter who specializes in music performance, Gallego has interpreted over 300 rap, R&B, and rock concerts, and has worked with everyone from Aerosmith to Destiny’s Child. After a deaf friend told her that “music wasn’t for deaf people,” she embarked on a quest to prove otherwise; today, she’s hired by major music festivals all over the United States to make auditory performances more relatable for the deaf.
To do so, she employs a tireless mixture of hand signs, facial expressions, body movement, and sensibility.