Garry Gordon of E.A.R., Inc. recently enlisted the services of Carol Gunn of Gunn Graphics, who coordinated with the band Crystal Flavola to write and perform music to go with lyrics Gordon wrote about hearing loss. The music video was recorded on a sunny day in an Austin, Texas, beer garden.
“We decided to do the song as a music video. We thought it would be an entertaining way to educate the audience on the subject of hearing protection and to motivate them to wear it,” says Gunn. “Safety officers in manufacturing settings and others responsible for protecting the hearing of their employees have a difficult task,” Gordon goes on to explain. “You can call them into the conference room for another boring lecture about why they should wear their ear plugs, or you can show them this video. A video can also be subtitled, a definite advantage as many people who will watch the video may already have some degree of hearing loss.”
The music video tells a story from the viewpoint of a baby-boomer-age man giving advice to younger people. As a consequence of noisy working environments and leisure activities such as shooting guns and riding motorcycles, he is now suffering from “Acoustical Confusion.” As he says, “I can hear OK, but I can’t understand!” This causes him difficulty and embarrassment in trying to communicate with his fellow band members, at his job, and even misunderstanding a flirty come-on by the female vocalist!
“We are also addressing a common misconception that hearing loss is only caused by aging,” explains Gordon. “Hearing healthcare professionals are seeing people at increasingly younger ages suffering from hearing loss caused by loud music, noisy hobbies, even wearing earbuds. It is our mission to help prevent that type of loss, and we hope this video will be a useful tool for us and for others who share this goal.”
The music video can be viewed online and will be distributed to hearing health care professionals, safety officers in industrial, military and law enforcement settings and others responsible for hearing protection, to assist in their educational and motivational efforts. DVDs will be available for purchase for a minimal fee from E.A.R. for use in training and educational programs. The audio portion will be available on CDs and in MP3 format.
Garry Gordon adds that he received an early draft of the song, but had no way to hear it until he was taking a tour of the Alexander Graham Bell museum. After the tour, he spotted a woman playing a piano who agreed to play the sheet music for him. “I can’t think of any location more appropriate to first hear the song,” recalls Gordon, “than this setting celebrating the work of a pioneer in the field of hearing and communications!”