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Updated: Mar 11, 2021

Music is around us and within us at all times and sometimes that is where it is at its loudest.

After being cut off from much of the world for nine weeks I found that I’d become sensitized. Things I would have taken for granted as parts of everyday life were now completely overwhelming and there is now a choice to be made. Do I remain sensitized, go back to being de-sensitized or find somewhere in between – a balance.

It is because of this sensitivity and the energy that can so easily overwhelm me that I spend a lot of time in silence, though it would appear on the outside.

What is actually going on inside is a constant, static, whistling sound known as Tinnitus. It is very common after a brain injury and though it is quite loud I’ve got used to it.

It’s a part of everyday life.


Whilst in hospital one of the nurses suggested that I read “Musicophilia” a book by Oliver Sachs.

I took his advice and a few months after I was discharged, whilst reading the book I came upon a chapter that caught my attention. In the chapter the author tells of a time he was working with a gentleman who had tinnitus and between them they decided to find its musical note.

Reading those words fascinated me.

Could it really be true that this sound that constantly plays in my head has a musical note?

I decided to find out.

I picked the guitar up, played the notes of C and D and they were really close but the actual note that my tinnitus is playing is E.

What really stopped me in my tracks was that when I played those three notes –C,D,E,- I recognized them. They are from the last piece of music I wrote before my brain injury.

It’s a poem spoken over a guitar line called ‘Both’. It’s all about balance and searching for what I know already exists. It's inside, I know it’s in there, I’ve just got to go and find it.

I now truly believe that, although I don't remember it, the tinnitus was there before the injury. It wrote this beautiful piece of music and somehow turned it up to the level that it’s at now. It’s constant, it literally never stops but now I can choose how I hear it.

When I’m conscious of it which is usually on the days when it’s quite loud, it doesn’t overwhelm me anymore. What’s changed is that I now hear music, I hear singing and I hear poetry.

The music I hear is like all music it’s asking to be released, to be set free.

It’s asking to be heard,

In my case it had to get so loud that I would simply have to listen but I’m listening and I’ve realised it’s a two way relationship.

We’re 'Both' letting go and by doing so, we’re setting each other free.

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