Tag Archives: Music

CIs and pitch differences

My son has been humming a song by Fall Out Boy for the last week or so (called ‘Centuries’ I believe), and to my ears it sounds just like a song I used to hear on the radio when I was in high school. I couldn’t remember what it was called, but I kept humming it for Luke to ask him if it was the same as his song. Well, he couldn’t really tell me one way or the other, so we decided to look it up online. A quick internet search of “do do do do dododo 90’s” brought us to Tom’s Diner by Suzanne Vega, and I knew as soon as saw the title that it was the one. I let Luke listen to it (as I sat nearby, reminiscing), and he confirmed that the beat was the same, but the melody was not. So it’s mainly the pitches that are entirely different. Luke and I both agreed it was rather interesting, somewhat amusing, that to my CI ears, his song sounded just like my song. Interesting, indeed.

Songs that sound good to my cochlear implant…

I’m really trying to stay positive here with this music business. I miss it a great deal, and I realize it will never be the same, but I am going to do whatever I can to make the best of this amazing device implanted into my ear. So I’ve emailed my audiologist and she is going to consult the manufacturer, Advanced Bionics, to see what else she might be able to do to help music sound a bit better. But for now, I just need to keep “practicing” by listening to songs I remember well. And having my old ipod returned to me, I am doing just that.

I’ll tell you what I can’t bear to listen to, and that’s Over the Rhine. They have been one of my all-time favorite bands for well over a decade. I have been to concerts, I own many many albums, and have so many great memories. But while Linford’s piano tinkling sounds are nice, Karin’s voice just sounds way too distorted, butchered even, and that hurts my heart. It is painful right down to my core. I don’t even have the words. It just hurts, that’s all. So… moving on.

Here is a list of songs that are currently mostly enjoyable:

“The Distance” – Cake
“I Feel the Earth Move” – Carole King
“Can’t Go Back Now” – The Weepies (this surprised me, but I think it’s just that I hadn’t heard it in a super long time)
“Bones” – The Killers (good beat at beginning, then torture)
“She Lost Feeling in the Ends of Her Fingers” – Linford Detweiler (see, piano tinkly music good)
“E-Pro” – Beck (it’s all about the drum beat)
“These Arms of Mine” – Otis Redding (“This is Otis. I love Otis.” – Ducky from Pretty In Pink)
“Lifelong Fling” – Over the Rhine (Yay! I found a good one!)

And the list goes on… While it’s still not what it was, it’s nice to find several among the 300+ on my ipod that are tolerable and sometimes even enjoyable to listen to. Party on.

Oldie, but goodie

Did I mention that I found my ipod awhile ago? And then lost it? I was very distressed over this, because I had finally learned how to use a cord to plug my ComPilot into the ipod or phone, so the sound is transmitted wirelessly to my cochlear implant (translation: learned how to listen to music). I have so much of my favorite music on that ipod that it would be great to listen to and “practice” listening with my ci. I sometimes get a little over zealous with de-cluttering, so I had started to think maybe I had disposed of it.

But then, last night my dear daughter walked up to me with a big smirk on her face and my ipod in her hand. She had hidden the damn thing from me. I’m a huge fan of her sense of humor (she loves Mr. Bean) but this went a little too far. I gave her a pass this time though, since it was the first time she’d done anything like this (I think), and it was her birthday, after all.

So this afternoon I am listening to MY music, music that I am familiar with and love. Mostly they all sound very strange and distorted but occasionally a glimpse of a note or a beat comes through sounding very real, and that makes me happy. That happened just now with Carole King. I remember listening to my mom’s Tapestry record when I was little and dancing around  the living room. Today that soulful, raspy voice came through for just a split second and my heart skipped a beat. Or, I suppose you could say I felt the earth move 🙂

Hippy Days

I’ve been de-cluttering lately. Feels good to get rid of things. It’s good preparation for if we ever move to a new house. Which I hope we do, eventually. I finally went through the box of stuff that my former co-workers packed up for me when I lost my hearing and left work. That sounds like they were anxious for me to be gone, but really they were getting ready to move to a new building, so it had to be done. I found a lot of good stuff in there, pictures from when the kids were younger, my ipod and speakers, my notary stamp, even some herbal tea bags.

I’m enjoying a cup of tea right now, of a flavor I had not tried before. I’m sure it was one a coworker gave me to try. Orange spice black tea. It’s actually quite yummy. As soon as the scent hit my nose it brought me back to my hippy days. And not the ones I spent stoned. It was after that, when I first moved to Lansing. I did hippy things (I suppose, not having lived during the true hippy era) like walking around the campus of MSU wearing sandals with fuzzy socks and long skirts, or drinking coffee at Bilbo’s until the wee hours, playing crazy silly songs on the jukebox (Cibo Matto, do you know your chicken?). I used to shop for tapes and CDs at the campus music store (two of which I found recently, but have no way to play, or listen to, really). I had a roommate who introduced me to house plants and egg noodles (the egg noodle craze lasting much longer than the plants, as I have a hard time keeping green things alive). I went to local concerts, camped out on lawns, and danced crazy dances. It was truly a carefree time for me, which I suppose is where the hippy reference fits best.

I also did some pretty stupid things in those days, even after giving up smoking pot and drinking. I used to take off driving and get myself lost, just so I could find my way home again. When I lived downtown I very often walked around alone. On Independence Day I walked half a dozen blocks to sit on a hill to watch the fireworks. Alone. And this was 1997, so I had no cell phone. Then there was the time I considered buying a VW bus from a guy I met at the laundromat, so I took the bus for a test drive, with the stranger dude riding along. Not smart.

Hmm. That train of thought took an unexpected turn. It’s good to remember happy times from the past, but I guess it’s also just as good to recognize some of the stupid things we’ve done, and be thankful we lived through them. God often keeps us safe despite ourselves, doesn’t he?

Finding music

I cleaned out three purses today. Yes, three. And that is just scratching the surface. I won’t even tell you how many purses I have hanging in the closet.

Anyhoo, It felt good to clean them out, and even better to have found my old ipod. The one with all of my favorite music on it that I somehow lost two computers ago. Maybe. Well, I was able to pull up all the songs on my laptop so I can listen to it through my CI remote (The Phonak Compilot) IF it successfully connects. Which most of the time it does not. But maybe I just need to restart. The additional good thing about this is that I was able to upload many of the songs from my laptop to my Amazon cloud drive thingamajigger, and from there I can listen from (and possibly download to) my Kindle. Which almost always connects to the ComPilot. Yee. F-in. Ha.

And now I can start to listen to the songs I know and “practice” hearing music again. And hopefully enjoying it too. I know it’s possible because other CI users say it is, and I have had blips of musical enjoyment here and there. Like yesterday in the truck when Beastie Boys’ “Pass the mic” came on the radio. That was super fun and brought back lots of great awful memories of my young adulthood. I listened to Beck’s “Loser” just now and that was pretty fun. Crazy stupid lyrics that I will probably never forget. So here’s to future CI joy and music enjoyment.

Get crazy with the Cheez Whiz!

Morning soundtracks

You know how some alarms can be set to wake you up with music? Yeah, I kind of have that going on in my head now. It doesn’t necessarily wake me up, but I do have music playing in my head very soon after I wake in the morning. Last week I think I mentioned one day it was Pearl Jam. It’s such a strange variety, I really should have been keeping track all along. For example, yesterday morning it was an old children’s song we used to sing. “On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese, I lost my poor meatball, when somebody sneezed!”. This morning it was one of my favorites, “Some Nights” by Fun.

Music is a big deal to me. Clearly. So it was a huge loss when I lost my hearing. You lose so much more than just your hearing. But, by George, tomorrow I’ll be heading down the road to hearing again, when my cochlear implant is turned on. Activation Day. TOMORROW! I don’t know how it will go, or how soon I’ll be understanding speech or enjoying music, but I am praying that it comes sooner rather than later. Later sucks. We vote for Sooner.

I wonder what tomorrow’s morning song will be? Perhaps a little “Eye of the Tiger”?

I miss the music

I have a feeling these next three days are going to be very emotional as I’m leading up to my first cochlear implant activation. I saw a commercial come on for some cheesy concert and it made me cry. It reminded me of the last concert I attended, which was about a month before I lost my hearing. It was an outdoor concert I attended with one of my best friends, and it was amazing. We went to see Awolnation, MGMT, and Twenty-One Pilots. Awolnation sucked raw eggs, but Twenty-One Pilots knocked my socks off! And MGMT was a great cap to the whole event. Their music was entrancing, and purely magical when the fireworks went off from the nearby baseball game. It was certainly a night to remember.

So there I stood, in front of the television, crying tears of sadness, but mostly tears of joy, because I am glad to have that memory and am also hopeful that one day I may be able to enjoy a concert again. If nothing else, I’ll be pulling up my Twenty-One Pilots album as soon as possible post-activation. That and one of my favorite worship songs, “Oh How He Loves Me” sung by Kim Walker. I’m so jazzed.