Composing the Tinnitus Suites (2008​-​2011)

by Daniel Fishkin

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In 2008, my tinnitus turned on. My ears started ringing, and they have never stopped. Doctors offered no solace besides, "You get used to it." Early in 2010, I read about Willie Morris, a former sheriff who, unable to cope with tinnitus, shot himself. In his suicide note, he wrote, “I hope that my death will help bring about some cure... It is important that my life will not be wasted.” In the absence of a medical cure, I vowed to find a creative solution.

I want to make music that makes tinnitus desirable rather than hated or feared. I do not want to get used to my hearing damage—I want to use it.

All sounded produced live without overdubs on the Lady's Harp, a feedback instrument/installation built from 30 foot long piano wires, pressure transducers, and coil pickups made from air valve solenoids. The strings are never plucked during this recording, but "bowed" by feedback to create sustained tones. Lady's Harp was built on site at Elsewhere Collaborative during a summer residency in 2011.

Composing the Tinnitus Suites is an ongoing piece. This is its first iteration, and it spans the first 4 not so silent years of my illness.


released March 15, 2015

Released by Cryptic Carosel CCR-049
Recorded August 2011 in Greensboro, NC at Elsewhere Collaborative
Edited by Daniel Fishkin & Zach Dunham
Mastered by Zelkjo McMullen
Thanks to Maryanne Amacher and Ellen Fullman for inspiration


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Daniel Fishkin Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

composer / instrument builder / sound artist / tinnitus ambassador

completely ambivalent

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