Posts Tagged ‘deaf musician’
Sam Baker is an internationally recognized folk musician and recording artist from Texas who lost his hearing in a tragic, violent and wholly unexpected way:
While traveling by train to Machu Picchu in Peru in 1986, a bomb placed on a luggage rack above his head by the Shining Path guerrilla group exploded, killing seven passengers including three people who had been sitting with him. Baker was left with numerous injuries, including brain damage, a cut artery, and blown-in eardrums, leaving him deaf in on ear, limited hearing in the other and a persistent, intense case of tinnitus. His injuries required 17 reconstructive surgeries. The fingers of his left hand were left badly damaged, but over time he was able to grasp a guitar in his other hand and return to music.
Despite his history and challenges, Sam has gone on to music success, with his 2013 album “Say Grace,” being named one of the top 10 country music albums of 2013 by Rolling Stone Magazine.
As a fellow musician with hearing loss, I am taken by Sam’s story, especially how he has rebuilt himself to make music again. I had the wonderful opportunity to talk to him about his story:
Anyone who says deafness is a silent epidemic hasn’t heard Sean Forbes.
The 35-year-old American hip-hop artist has been inspiring a generation of hearing, hard-of-hearing and Deaf individuals for years, as a musician who continues to break ground and stereotypes with his beats.
With his newly-released single, “Two Blown Speakers,” Forbes is proving his hearing loss won’t stand in the way of his passions.
UK actor, musician and television presenter Martin Kemp blames years of touring with his band for his tinnitus and hearing loss.
The former bassist for the ‘80s New Romantic era band, Spandau Ballet, told the Daily Mail that he is suffering from the ringing in his ears, which he attributes to his days of being a musician, standing in front of amplifiers and using in-ear monitors.
“There is a whistling in my ears all the time,” Martin says.
Does hearing loss affect how we enjoy music? If so, is it possible to regain our enjoyment of music even after hearing loss?
Many of us with hearing loss have stopped listening to music because it does not sound how we remember it. Nevertheless, more musicians, singers and music lovers with hearing loss are coping and finding their way back to music.
Recently I attended a seminar about the impact of hearing loss and hearing aids on music enjoyment that was hosted and led by Geoff Plant, a hearing rehabilitation specialist, musician and mentor of mine. The seminar explored the challenges of experiencing music after hearing loss, the claim that hearing aids do not always provide a quality musical experience, and strategies being used to more fully enjoy music.
Here’s what I learned…
The Antlers‘ Peter Silberman suffered from a “tremendous,” “all-consuming” tinnitus and hearing loss in his left ear before slowly returning to music again.
The 30-year-old songwriter, vocalist and guitarist told NPR’s All Songs +1 podcast that his hearing loss caused him to retreat from music, friends and public spaces, but after slowly starting to playing music quietly again, he’s ready to release his first solo album.
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