Blind World Magazine

Hearing is Seeing.

January 20, 2006. - Yerevan,Armenia.

“It is a little thing given with great love,” says Gayane Klekchyan with a childish sincerity, who has given a big world of tales with her little work to children deprived of the opportunity to see and read with their own eyes.

Soundtracks of famous tales were recorded by Armenian artists

Last year Klekchyan gathered a group of actors and prepared five hours of MP3 audio CDs within the framework of “Talking Books” project. Actors Hovhannes Babakhanyan, Tigran Nersisyan, Anna Elbakyan, Zhirayr Dadasyan and others read 16 tales by Hovhannes Tumanyan, Hans Christian Anderson, Oscar Wilde and Grimm Brothers on one of the CDs. The other one is a selection of Paruyr Sevak, Vahan Teryan, Yeghishe Charents and Hamo Sahyan, as well the novel by Richard Bach “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”.

“The first question people ask me is if I received a grant? No, we haven’t received any grant. Whatever you do, you should do for children expecting no return and you should put only endless love,” says Klekchyan.

She was thinking about the project for long time, and each time she had been reading a book she thought of what the blind miss out on by not having access to that world.

“The tales take children to the new planet of dreams, seeding kindness and patience. For many blind children who live next to us this planet is empty inside and each of us should make a step to give their dream back to them,” she says.

To make her own step forward Klekchyan began looking for actors who would devote their time to this work without any compensation.

“This is such an important work I couldn’t just refuse doing it. This is a sincere and pure manifestation of benevolence. All the actors participated with pleasure and most importantly they were doing it free of charge. It was not a job for but a total devotion,” says actor and director Zhirayr Dadasyan.

The music arrangement and the sound effects were done by musician Vahan Nahapetyan, who also has impaired sight. According to him the way of presentation is very important, mainly classic music has been chosen that help the books in facilitating the aesthetic development of children.

Klekchyan: “Whatever you do for children do it from all your heart”

The advantage of the books is that the works are presented in their original version without editing or being abridged.

11-grade pupil at Yerevan School #14 for children with impaired sight Sipan Asatryan says the need for such kind of books is very big, especially for him as he is going to enter the Philology Department at Yerevan State University.

“This is a brilliant project we have been waiting for for so long: the school has printed books in Breil system, but they have been published in Soviet times and are very worn out; it is sometimes impossible to read. We hope this project will continue and at least the most basic literature will be available to us,” says Sipan.

Klekchyan also organizes weekly meetings with famous artists and interesting people for the children with vision problems. Vice-principal of the School # 14 Tamara Gevorgyan says the meetings greatly facilitate the children’s free expression of thoughts so that they feel as full members of society.

The authors of the “Talking Books” are already preparing three more new audio CDs that will be released in two months. The new books will include Stepan Zoryan, Derenik Demirtchyan, William Saroyan, Yeghishe Charents, Sayat-Nova, Leonid Engibaryan, Hans Christian Andersen, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s “Little Prince”, and the best poems of Russian authors.

The “Talking Books” have been distributed among all the special schools in Armenia and Karabakh: but the cds are and will remain free of charge.

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