Joyce Cohen recently wrote on BuzzFeed about living with hyperacusis, a condition which makes soft sounds unbearably loud and painful. After Cohen joined us last week to talk about it, we received some great emails and voicemails from you, with a wide range of feedback. The segment got us talking here in the Soundcheck office, too.
Here's why: Joyce described how she blocks out noise while living amid the sonic chaos of New York.
In my situation, because I know I'm going to be subjected to a lot of loud noise, I always protect my ears. I have industrial-strength earmuffs, so I look like the baggage handler [at an airport].
Even if you don’t have hyperacusis like Cohen, even if you don’t live in New York, you might still take measures --- some of them extreme -- to find peace and quiet.
All this week on the show, we're asking our listeners and in-studio guests: How do you block out noise? Where do you find quiet?
Sam Beam, the singer-songwriter who records as the indie-folk act Iron & Wine, told John Schaefer that he finds peace and quiet while driving, despite the hum of the car interior and the tires on the road.
I've had to make a habit of not turning music on in the car. It used to be where I listened to music, because it was really the only place I had where you were stuck. I feel like it's also a matter of perspective, because I have a bunch of kids. What some people think is quiet is probably different than my idea of quiet. I definitely learned to block a lot of noise out through sheer force of will. So the car feels really quiet to me.
Unlike Beam, the saxophonist Colin Stetson lives in a major city, Montreal. A solo artist who also tours with Bon Iver and Arcade Fire, Stetson finds quiet while running, but what he hears depends on the terrain.
I won't put earbuds in if I'm running in the woods -- trailrunning out in Vermont [...] But when I'm running in the city, I tend to drown out the noise with something that's more aggressive and more powerful than the city's noise, so I listen to a lot of metal.
What about you? How do you block out noise? How do you create a quiet space? Leave a message for us at 866-939-1612. Or, post your story in the comment section below.