Feel the vibration: An interview with a deaf techno-head

Interview: René Shellis

The other week I attended a Bunker gig featuring Adriana Lopez located at My Aeon. I was sitting on a couch across the bar trying to shake off the shenanigans of the day and hopefully regain some energy. A guy walked over and signalled to make space for him to sit and he patted me on the shoulder. I was confused as to what was happening or who this person was and, after some terrible attempts to communicate on my part I started to understand the events in front of me. The guy introducing himself was Jonathan, a techno kid who feels the music but cant hear it. It was a special moment for me and I had to share it with the world so I got in touch with him to talk about his passion.

Where are you from Jonathan? Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m German, 21twenty one years old. I’m here for three months to see what the world has to offer beginning with Australia ! I was born in Munich and moved 4 years ago to Essen because of school. Now I’m here but I’ll probably go back to Berlin to study.



I noticed you have a lot of wristbands – you must love music!

Yes I do love music, even my deaf family knows that! It was something I just clicked with.

Have you ever heard music?

Yes I have, but never in the way you hearing people do. I’m not hearing so that says it all. Especially in the techno scene, when i get into a club I always put my hearing aids off because they confuse me. I want to feel the vibrations, It amazes me everytime.

So your favourite genre is techno?

Yes it is ! I can’t even describe the feeling when I realised there was music like techno and ever since I’ve been going to techno clubs and festivals. I cant even go to a normal club anymore!



What was your number one event?

Hard to say but definitely an event in nature. My dream is to go to Awakenings.

Do you know many people with hearing loss that share the same passion as you?

Yes in Germany I have a group of friends who all have different types of hearing loss and we rave together all the time. Wwe have done so for about 4 years !

Do you find much of a difference in Australia in comparison to Germany?

Yes there is a difference. Techno music in Germany is much harder and darker and here it’s more melodic. It’s hard to explain, heavier kick drums and more bass, like in Germany we really go off and here there are more beachy tones.

What would you like to see more in Australia, when we met you said it was a bit quiet?


Yes the speakers were in the air and there were no big boxes around where I could put my hands on so I can get lost in the music even more. I want to feel the vibrations like a big hug, that’s what I need.

What event are you planning on going to next?

Maybe Babylon !

Any final words?

I want to share with the world that there are also deaf people who go to techno clubs and festivals, we love it! I am also planning to start DJing !