Whenever I’m running through the experiment we’re doing with a volunteer, I usually ask them what kind of music they like, whether they have some favourite artists or styles etc. Predictably, the responses are really varied, among the people with normal hearing as well as the cochlear implant or hearing aid users. However, there is two singers who crop up a little more than average, but only among the CI users: singers beginning with “Neil” – both Diamond and Young!
I have pretty varied tastes in music, but i must admit I’ve never really enjoyed the nasal cacklings of Neil Diamond at all, and wasn’t sure whether this was a definite pattern, or just a weird random event. Then thismorning I was reading over my news feeds and came across this article in “The Columbus Dispatch” – a newspaper from Ohio, about Jim Westlake’s recent cochlear implant operation. He describes some of the things he can’t wait to hear – his grandchildren, his wife’s voice, the sound of the country, and… Neil Young!
Spooky. Is there something special about Neil? Maybe something about the acoustics of the voice of a Neil that works well if you have impaired hearing?
So, I thought I’d add a poll to this blog (over in the sidebar on the right). If you’re a cochlear implant or hearing aid user, let us know who your favourite artists (singers or non-singing musicians, Neil or otherwise) and we’ll see if there’s any pattern, or over-abundance of Neils…