When Johnny Hallyday died in December 2017, he was given a send-off fit for a king. All of France mourned its greatest rock star. Ann Vermont mourned too, because her most magical experience at Sennheiser was directly connected to this man.
A few years earlier, he had performed in Paris for four evenings on his last tour. Ann had organized a special event in the backstage area. She invited 100 children with severe hearing impairments together with their families. “We wanted to show them that despite their limitations, they could still enjoy a concert. It was their first experience of live music.”
Ann and her colleagues equipped the children with special transmitters and in-ear receivers and adapted the devices to their hearing levels. Some of the children used transmitters with induction loops connected to hearing aids. “We gave those children who were deaf a balloon that they carried under their tops. Although they couldn’t hear, the vibrations of the sound, the bass and the drums passed through their stomachs and made their hearts soar. That way they could feel the music and get excited by it.” Ann can certainly vouch for that.
“Looking at the enthusiastic faces of these children and their parents was so humbling that I was moved to tears on all four evenings. Some came running up to me, thanked me in sign language or hugged me. Since then I’ve often thought about what it must be like to hear or feel music for the very first time.” Ann has also been a fan of Johnny Hallyday ever since. “Not necessarily because of the music, I was just blown away by the beauty he brought to the lives of his fans. I also realized that we do exactly the same with our products. We help to enrich people’s lives.”