This year’s Tinnitus Awareness Week kicked off this morning bright and early, with British Tinnitus Association ambassador and CMU columnist Eddy Temple-Morris appearing on ITV’s breakfast show ‘Daybreak’. It meant a very early start, but such things are important because – despite the fact that tinnitus affects one in ten of us – very little is known about it and its causes, by both the public and healthcare professionals. This year Eddy and the BTA hope to change that, and in his latest CMU column Eddy discusses how.
Coming home at 7.25am, covered in make up, is not something I’ve done since the 1980s but today, I revisited that bizarre feeling. I kicked off Tinnitus Awareness Week this morning at a soul crushing hour. A taxi picked me up at 5.50am and I went to ITV Studios to sit on the ‘Daybreak’ sofa and talk about my living with tinnitus.
It felt strange, and I felt peculiarly naked ‘going to work’ in the pitch darkness but without a record bag. The ‘Daybreak’ presenters, like most people, were understandably ill-informed about the issue, and thought that all that press lately – about the hairs in the inner ear and the deaf mice that can hear again – was related to tinnitus.
I’m sorry to keep banging on about this but here’s the bottom line: tinnitus and hearing loss are two totally separate issues. I have terrible tinnitus but almost perfect hearing, countless colleagues of mine can say the same thing. This new breakthrough in hearing loss reversal is wonderful news for deaf people, or the hard of hearing, but to those of us living with tinnitus, it’s largely irrelevant.
Tinnitus Awareness Week is always hard for me. I don’t mean the stupid o’clock start to the day to appear on breakfast TV, it’s the fact that for everybody with tinnitus, and that’s probably around half of the DJs and musicians reading this, being reminded about it is about as welcome as a kick in the love-spuds. We’re all busy trying to forget about it. Just being reminded is horrible. Like people who live under the flight path.
“What noise? Oh, THAT noise”.
So to all those, like me, living with this awful condition, I’m truly sorry, but we have to get through to people and politicians (who, contrary to popular belief, are just people). Once we get awareness to a certain level, then the political machine will have no choice but to listen and to act. Then, and only then, will we have a chance of getting some public funding into research and public awareness.
I’ve written about all this here before, of course, and you probably already know about the album I’m putting together that will help us do this, entitled ‘I Am The One In Ten’. This particular campaign had an enormous boost when I got Chris Martin’s blessing to use my unofficial remix of the year, that marvellous Mirror City rework of ‘Charlie Brown’.
I say “I got Chris Martin’s blessing” and that’s partially true, but like many things, I couldn’t have done it without one of my best friends: Danny McNamara. Danny and Chris are pretty tight, so I asked him if he’d run the idea past Chris, and I think that very early love I showed for Coldplay, back when virtually nobody knew who they were, may have helped (there’s the old “be nice to people, it will pay dividends down the line” theory again).
So we have Coldplay on board, which has led to a nice little spike of press interest. But my next target, predictably, is Noel Gallagher, who came out as living with tinnitus last week. If I can get the UNKLE remix of High Flying Birds on this album, the chances of it falling on non-deaf ears in Whitehall will increase exponentially. I had a nice email from his people last week, so fingers crossed.
I also recently connected with yet another artist who’s been living with tinnitus for years, Andy Wright from Drumsound & Bassline Smith, so further fingers crossed that, if their label, New State, are OK with it, we may get that astonishing remix of ‘Through The Night’ by Bare Noize, which was my Remix Of The Year 2012.
But there’s one more thing I need for this to work, and for this already amazing sounding album to have the best possible chance of making a difference, and that is a label. But not any old label. I need a label presided over by somebody with tinnitus. Or where pivotal characters involved in the release have tinnitus. If you are that person, or you know that person, please get in touch with me on Twitter or via the contact page on my website.
We really do have a chance here to change the game. Tinnitus has never been on the government agenda, kids are still blissfully unaware that they could end up on suicide watch just by enjoying that music blasting through their brains via earbuds connected to their mobile phones.
Just have a look at the artist list below. Every single one has tinnitus and every single one has pledged a track for this album. Any partner label’s costs will all be covered, I’m certainly not in this to earn anything, I just need a bit of help and clout getting this out there. I have writers, pluggers, journalists, project managers, healthcare professionals, photographers, engineers, producers, recording and mastering studios all offering their time and services. I just need the right label, the bigger the better.
We’re so close now. This is the last hurdle… one final push and we’ll be there.
Thank you, again.
SONGS PLEDGED FOR ‘I AM THE ONE IN TEN’ BY NUMBER ONE HIT ARTISTS:
Coldplay – An exclusive, unreleased remix by Mirror City
Black Eyed Peas – An Adam Freeland-produced bomb
DJ Fresh – A rare remix by Sub Focus
Embrace – An unreleased exclusive remix of one of their hits
RARE OR EXCLUSIVE TRACKS PLEDGED BY:
The Cooper Temple Clause
Drumsound And Basslinesmith
FURTHER SUPPORT OR POSSIBLE TRACKS PLEDGED BY:
Drumsound & Bassline Smith
The Strongroom Studios And Mastering
Wall Of Sound
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