Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Happy New Ear

First I gave you the delightful candy corn fireplace. Then the hypnotic vinyl scratches. Now I’ll even throw in this site, which includes ten different sound effects that you can adjust to suit your mood. Who doesn’t like the sound of “leaves rustling in the wind”?

But look at the granddaddy of them all, above. Ten hours of ambient sounds from a polar ice breaker stuck in the ice! You can make it through the night on one play.

640px-chord_minorI use these background effects to help with the tinnitus that’s been nagging at my brain for several years now. The theory is that some kind of extraneous sound the brain doesn’t expect to be hearing distracts it and reduces the high-pitched ringing. Often, with a little vinyl scratching in the background, or a crackling bonfire, I’ll look up and realize I haven’t heard the screech in a while. Of course, it comes back the minute I think about it, though.

But even if you don’t have tinnitus, the shipboard sounds are weirdly soothing, I think. You can close your eyes and imagine that you too are trapped in the arctic ice with just your burly and hirsute shipmates for company. Better to stay in your cabin with your eyes closed, listening to the ice moaning …

[Image by Jlandin – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8921340%5D



6 comments on “Happy New Ear

  1. John W. Howell
    February 11, 2017

    Damn near dosed off after a minute.

    • Kevin Brennan
      February 12, 2017

      That’s one way to deal with tinnitus. Sleep through it.

      • John W. Howell
        February 12, 2017

        I actually have tinnitus and it is interesting that the sound changes periodically. Right now it is like a cicada but often sounds like a muted attic fan.

  2. Audrey Driscoll
    February 11, 2017

    It is kind of peaceful, and knowing I wasn’t really on a ship in the middle of nowhere was reassuring. I think I’ve experienced tinnitus at times, but it’s never been bad enough for me to seek help; I’ll keep this in mind if it ever comes back. Plus this reminded me of the following: https://dannymichel.bandcamp.com/releases
    Interesting use of instruments, esp. the brass in “24,000 Horses.”

    • Kevin Brennan
      February 12, 2017

      Yes, I think I’d actually freak out if I were stuck in the ice near the north pole.

      Thanks for the link. I’ll give it a listen!

  3. pinklightsabre
    February 13, 2017

    That’s splendid. I have the tinnitus too but it’s controllable. I just have to mind how much music I’m listening to, and obviously don’t do ear buds anymore, not for four years or so now. It was a Sonic Youth record on really high volume that did it for me, but a fitting way to blow your ears out I guess. (that SY album when I realized I had it, the sound kind of is the same as tinnitus, the feedback)

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This entry was posted on February 11, 2017 by in Et alia and tagged .
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