Skip to content

Watch Jamie xx’s ‘Sleep Sound’ Inspire Deaf Dancers

Jamie xx, "Sleep Sound," video, deafness

Jamie xx never runs out of ways to find music in silence, does he? The xx-man’s main band demonstrated their mastery of negative space on 2012’s Coexist and their self-titled 2009 debut. Last month’s run of 40-person New York concerts showed how their atmospheric sounds can work even better when fewer people are hearing them. New solo single “Sleep Sound,” out May 6 via Young Turks, (pre -order on iTunes or 12-inch vinyl now) is another bold stroke of evanescence; we called it a “spongy, 2-step-meets-doo-wop jam.”

The track’s novel video makes the connection to silence more literal. Directed by Sofia Mattioli, a London-based artist and poet, the clip shows 13 members of the Manchester (U.K.) Deaf Centre — ages 5 to 27 — dancing in response to both Mattioli’s movements and the music’s vibrations in the air. “The relationship between silence and music is a big part of what I am trying to express with my work,” Mattiolio told Nowness. Jamie xx couldn’t have said it better himself. Here’s to knowing what’s golden.

Read SPIN’s 2012 profile on the xx: Black Is Black Is Black Is Black.