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As many of you know, I own and operate a small residential studio, which specializes in vintage keyboards. I've been involved in the synth music scene for many years, and have developed a
fascinating and inspiring circle of electronic musician friends and acquaintances from around the world.
Among the most treasured of these friends are a synth performance and composition duo called "SynthFreq". Located in Austin, Texas, twin sisters Danielle and Crystal write and
perform incredible 80's style instrumental synth rock.They play live shows, release peformance videos from their studio on their Youtube channel, and upload videos showing how to program and repair vintage synths, samplers, drum machines, and sequencers. Great stuff, and excellent players.
So far so good. Unfortunately, there's another side to their lives, a side that is much less bright.
Both Danielle and Crystal suffer from a brutal number of physical challenges. Danielle has very limited vision. Some of her gear has braille incorporated in the faceplates. With other gear, she memorizes the sequence of menus in order to dig into the synth's parameters. She covers the edges of her gear with reflective tape so that her rig is visible. Due to her lack of peripheral vision, she tapes the synths to the stands because she bumps into them so often.
She also has severe hearing loss. Her hearing begins at 70db, and is most effective at around 115db. Her audible frequency range is from 250hz to 3k. Her hearing aids go up to a bone-rattling 132db. Her left ear is entirely deaf.
She also suffers from epilepsy, which results in constant tremors and ongoing seizures. The tremors are focused in her legs, toes, and tongue. So just eating and taking meds is a chore. Danielle takes medication with soda because the carbonation helps her get the meds down.
Due to a medication error in an epilepsy monitoring unit, Danielle has permanent and severe nerve damage in her leg, and must walk with a brace. This will not get better. Danielle also has a rare condition in her hands, which now is preventing her from playing cello and guitar.
Both Danielle and Crystal have wonderful service dogs. (Wizard and Sunny.)
As if all this isn't enough, the excellent instructional and entertainment videos that they create for the SynthFreq youtube channel tend to be ridiculed in the comments section. Idiots make fun of Danielle's speech, and comment on their appearance.
Here is a link to one of their many great videos...(PLEASE check this stuff out. There are a lot of videos, and they are really cool.)
The video link that I've included shows Danielle, Crystal, and their roommate Rachel performing an original composition. In April, Rachel had a seizure in their apartment, and died in Danielle's arms. In the past, Danielle and Crystal had saved Rachel from drowning in water, suffocating in dirt while the neighbors watched, and prevented her from being run over by cars while having a seizure in the road.
These two deal with constant challenges and tragedies that I can't even imagine. Yet they are kind and friendly people, and are among the most enthusiastic musicians that I've ever known. And their abilities are not just limited to the audio arts. Danielle's Sharpie synth art is astounding. Have a look on the SynthFreq facebook page. Absolutely amazing work. And remember, she has extremely compromised vision.
So, because of these challenges (and more), they are now in a position where they will have to move to a new home. They simply can't afford the rent in their current location. They are also having to sell gear to make ends meet. Personally, this situation is making me crazy, and simply feels profoundly unjust, and I want to help them (I already have a synth boxed up and ready to send to Texas. No charge, of course). At some point, these two musicians just need a break. So I'm wondering if there is anything that our world-wide PRW community can do to help Danielle and Crystal.
Suggestions? Is there anyone in Austin that can help Danielle, Crystal, and their canine companions out?
(Sorry about the format issues. I composed this offline, and it's been a bit of a job getting it to look good on the forum.)
Nanaimo, BC Canada www.facebook.com/ApeIslandSound
Last Edited By: jimblair Jun 27 15 9:54 PM. Edited 3 times