I haven’t posted any updates on the ear because, honestly, there’s not been anything much to report. It is what it is, and the hearing won’t return, so I’m learning to deal with it.

Unfortunately the new year brought new notes to it, though. My tinnitus got worse as the ear went bad, but sometime in the past few weeks I’ve been blessed with something new. I’m now hearing notes. I checked and while I only hear one pitch at a time it is all slurred … and it goes between some sort of F# (it’s been flat, it’s been sharp) and a G# (some intonation issues there as well). Microtones are heard … it’s not just a full half step or step. And it just goes on and on. The timbre is sort of a nasal, electronic sort of thing. Very strange.

My “normal” tinnitus is rather like wires that sing. Does anyone else hear that? Sometimes the wires outside the house seem to sing — not sure others have noticed that but I’ve heard them since I was a kid, so it’s not about this crazy ear — but I hear a very high pitches and just goes on and on. I can’t name those pitches (just too high for me, and I can’t quite zero in on them), but I know it’s more than one pitch and they, too, are close together.

So that’s it as far as “news”. Yes, this new issue is frustrating, but one can’t really do much about tinnitus from what I’ve been told, and at this point I’m just continuing to play and teach.

Next week I play English horn on the first and last works on the concert “Automation“, and you can bet I’ll be wearing earplugs: we are doing John Adams’s Short Ride In A Fast Machine and Richard Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra. Both can be quite loud.

I think the program is creative and I do believe it will be a crowd pleaser, but we’ll know for sure when it happens. I just hope we get an audience. Things haven’t been the same since Covid. Sigh.