Re: Hearing Loss sites etc

Subject: Re: Hearing Loss sites etc
From: James Phelps (
Date: Thu May 19 2005 - 16:22:43 EDT

Personally, I have noticed that, more and more, I find myself sitting in concerts with both hands (index fingers, actually) within close "striking distance" to my ears. Further, I have observed that I am more likely to exhibit such nerves when I know the piece significantly involves real-time sound production such as with MSP (perhaps a more fertile soil for unpredicted problems?).
In my classes at NIU we discuss the fact that, to some extent, some health factors of our audience are in our hands and that HAS to be taken dead seriously. We also discuss the not-necessarily-synonymous "aesthetic intensity" and volume.
Still ... there's little protection from bad music, bad composers and bad performers.
-Jim Phelps
 Northern Illinois University

Elainie Lillios <> wrote:
Hi Greg and community:

I agree 100% with these comments and find myself increasingly
disgruntled (to the point of annoyance) when attending electroacoustic
concerts and festivals. It seems to me that we, of all people, should
be sensitive to the levels of our pieces during live performance! -- I
have gotten to the point that rather than sit in the "sweet spot", I
sit in the back and plug my ears (OVER my musician earplugs), and
frequently skip concerts due to aural saturation.

I, too, would love to see a general movement among the community to
"turn it down", realizing that in the context of a concert, festival,
or conference, one will experience numerous pieces, and that everyone
should have the luxury of their piece being heard by ears that are not
fatigued and sore from being bombarded by pieces being played too



Elainie Lillios
Assistant Professor of Composition
Coordinator of Music Technology
College of Musical Arts
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, Ohio 43403 USA
Phone: 419.372.9482

On May 19, 2005, at 2:31 PM, Greg Eustace wrote:

> There are electroacoustic concerts taking placing in Montreal (and all
> over,
> Iím sure) that are utterly negligent in terms of the risks to the
> audience's
> hearing. I know I can't go to shows anymore - because in my experience
> there's
> a much better chance that I'm going to be exposed to such negligence
> when
> amplifiers are involved. Even musician's ear plugs are not enough -
> when being
> exposed to 100-120 db for 3 hours. Frankly, it feels like my refusal to
> endanger my hearing is going to make having a career in music all the
> more
> difficult.
> Forgive my ignorance, but what is the electroacoustic community doing
> to react
> against this? What do the acoustic ecologists say? Are there venues
> that cater
> to the safety conscious? What does Canadian law say about noise levels
> in
> concert situations? What can the young electroacoustians (like me) do
> to
> support the cause?
> I'm a little disheartened by it all and I would appreciate your
> thoughts.
> Quoting Kevin Austin :
>> A general introduction to (mostly noise induced) hearing loss:
>>> The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
>>> has released a useful software package for demonstrating the
>>> effects of noise-induced hearing loss. The NIOSH Hearing Loss
>>> Simulator runs on a Windows-based PC with sound capabilities, and
>>> allows the user to select different durations and levels of noise
>>> exposure while "hearing" the effects on a variety of foreground and
>>> background sounds.
>> Best
>> Kevin
> --

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