The ‘Having to stop playing music live’ post

You may have noticed from some of my recent posts that I’ve been having a fair bit of trouble with my hearing lately. It’s something I’ve been dealing with fairly well up until now but unfortunately it’s gotten a lot worse and I find myself having to take some action to try and help myself. As a consequence I’m going to have to stop playing live music for the immediate future.

I’m absolutely gutted about this – live music is where everything comes to life, it’s something I love doing so much but there’s no point me doing that if I’m just going to destroy my hearing. Though I wear ear protection whenever I go to a gig, I’ve struggled to use them when performing. It’s OK if I’m doing just instrumental work but it’s very difficult to sing and improvise when wearing them.

Now, I know what you’re going to say, ‘a 30 minute set with exposure mainly to a monitor set up surely can’t be that bad for you?’ Well, to give you some perspective on this, a 40 minute recording session last week with a 10 watt practice amp on 1 and a half left my left ear feeling like it had been punched by a particularly vicious doorman. I then spent the rest of the evening in a weird kind of daze. A journal entry for the day says something so woefully teenage I’ve prevented my self from repeating it here but suffice to say it’s forced my hand.

It also means I’m letting some wonderful people down with the gigs I’ve got booked at the minute, especially John from maybeshewill, which makes me feel terrible but I can assure you I would not be doing this unless I thought it was absolutely necessary. And right now I do.

So what next? Well, I’ve got around one and a half hours of audio recorded that I’m trying to edit down into one cohesive piece. I’ve got an ‘instant composition’ piece that I was going to make into a business card cd-r for the Her Name is Calla gig that I’ll probably just put up for free download in the week. After that I’ve got to try and work out how I go about doing things, I really hope I can play live again soon but until I can work out a way of doing it, I’m sort of stuck.

But I want to hang onto my hearing for as long as I can.

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