Xfm DJ Eddy Temple Morris has written about living with tinnitus ahead of launching a week of events to raise awareness of the condition, staged by the British Tinnitus Association, of which Eddy is an ambassador.
In his weekly column for CMU’s Remix Update bulletin, which is sent to listeners of Eddy’s radio show, Eddy writes: “I remember the carefree days of going to a gig, blasting my eardrums with glorious and beautiful music, then getting home with a ringing in my ears. It would last for a few hours, maybe a day. I thought it was just part and parcel of going to a gig. Van Halen at Birmingham Civic Centre Coliseum in Alabama set an unbeaten record of about a week, but it always went away eventually. Then, one day, about a decade ago… it didn’t”.
“I have a constant high-pitched tone in one or both of my ears, and it’s something I carry with me always, wherever I go. I don’t notice it in the day, there’s too much ambient noise in London, even at night. It’s when I go somewhere really quiet, in the countryside, that it really affects me. I lie down to sleep and, with the absence of planes, trains and automobiles, I realise the awful truth that I cannot hear the silence. That lovely sense of total quiet, of blissful peace, is something I will never experience again”.
He adds that through the advice of the BTA and a bespoke ear-plug from Musicians Hearing Services he has managed to reduce the impact of the condition, but that he is still committed to educating as many gig-goers as possible about the risks of exposure to very loud music, and of what they can do to reduce those risks.
He explains: “As long as I have the power to do something about it, I’ll communicate, pressure, evangelise, talk, listen, rant, and anything else I can think of to make sure that you don’t find yourself in the same position as me of never hearing silence again”.
Eddy will launch Tinnitus Awareness Week by hosting a special event at Cargo in London on Monday night in which 25 DJs – who all suffer from tinnitus themselves – will all contribute a track to create the ulimate DJ mash-up. Among the DJs to appear are Adam F, Jon Carter, Way Out West, Lottie, Streetlife DJs, Burn The Negative, Wrongtom, Cassette Jam, Jagz Kooner and Eddy himself.
Monday 8 February, Cargo, 83 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3AY, 8pm-12am, free (but donations to the British Tinnitus Association welcomed upon entry).