Disturbed Give Blessing For Deaf ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Contestant to Use ‘The Sound of Silence’
Disturbed’s cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” has been one of the most well-received re-imaginings in modern music. Last night (May 23), two of the finalists on Dancing With the Stars based one of their numbers on “The Sound of Silence,” with the most adamant of enthusiasm coming from Disturbed.
Dancing With the Stars is down to three pairs of finalists. Male model / actor Nyle DiMarco and dance partner Peta Murgatroyd are close in their journey to capture the championship on Dancing With the Stars’ 22nd season. This is even more impressive considering DiMarco is deaf. Thus, he wanted to use “The Sound of Silence” to bring awareness to the deaf community’s history.
DiMarco sent the following message to Disturbed in hope of getting the band’s blessing to use “The Sound of Silence”:
My name is Nyle DiMarco. I am Deaf. I'm the fourth generation and I have over 25 Deaf members in my family. I am now in the semi finals towards the Mirror Ball on Dancing With The Stars. I am writing this letter to let you know how much your song "Sound of Silence" means so much to me and my Deaf community and that I would love to dance to your song for the finals. I feel this is important for you to know that we the Deaf people underwent a terrible history and we are still stuck in the darkness. The darkness of oppression that your song truly reverberated to me.
Before the year 1880, we the Deaf people lived normal lives. We were perceived normal. We held political positions. We joined the army. We had jobs. We had an education through sign language that greatly benefited to our visual eyes and silent ears. It was until the Milan Conference in 1880 that led to language deprivation and... ultimately our culture, our job opportunities, and our intelligence. We were tortured. Our ancestors underwent electric shock chairs, surgeries (without anesthesia), and so many torturing methods just to help us regain our hearing. We were also punished if we used sign language. We were whipped. Slapped with our rulers. Abused. We were required to try and learn to speak (and that always, always miserably failed).
We also lost jobs. Many now perceive us as disabled, that we can't serve the army, hold political positions, nor teach.
Because of the conference that almost led to the death of the Deaf culture (and was basically genocide and cultural-genocide), we are still trying to get out of the dark. I just founded Nyle DiMarco Foundation and our focus is on Deaf kids. We are working with state and U.S. senators to write and pass the bill that requires bilingualism (American Sign Language and English) because it was recently proven by science that it will benefit the Deaf child a lot more than just English only. I am using my celebrity platform and especially on DWTS for good cause.
With your song... we are planning on showing my history's terrible times through dancing... and to your powerful and moving song. We feel that with you, your song, and us, we will make/change history and help people better understand our history, and build allies all over the world to help better Deaf lives.
Help us resurface from our darkness, from the systematic oppression. There is power in Sound of Silence.
We hope you will grant us the permission. Lets change history together!
Disturbed shared DiMarco’s letter via Facebook along with the band’s response:
Hello Disturbed Ones, we would like to share a touching email we recently received from Dancing with the Stars contestant Nyle DiMarco, who happens to be deaf and will performing his final dance tonight for the trophy to our version of "The Sound of Silence". Nyle emailed us to ask for our permission to use our version of the song that has inspired him and hopes to convey an even bigger message to help people better understand the history of the deaf community.Tonight is the big night so help spread the word and cast your votes for Nyle! This is not only a great honor for a Hard Rock/Metal band like us to be asked to be part of the biggest night of their show but for us to play a role in raising awareness for Nyle's cause. We wish him & Peta the best and please take a moment to vote tonight and share this post!
Watch & VOTE! 1800 868 3409
Thank You- David Dan Mike John
Nyle and Petra performed their “Sound of Silence” number to mass acclaim, attaining a perfect score from all three judges. Check out the Dancing With the Stars performance in the clip above.
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