Apr 6, 2016

The day I could not hear my music

Sheridan Tongue is composer for film and television, and we are delighted to have his support as a Plug’em Ambassador.

In his Blog, Sheridan gives his own personal experience of tinnitus and why he supports Plug’em.

“About 10 years ago one Saturday evening I was enjoying a live band at a friend’s birthday party – the music was pumping and you could feel the energy in the room. The sound levels were high and that evening I left the party with my ears ringing. 


The following morning I awoke to find that my ears were still ringing. I had never experienced this before after a night’s sleep. Unperturbed I went out to my recording studio and prepared to work on some of my tracks.


It was then that I suddenly realised that I could not ‘hear’ my music, I was unable to work and it really scared me. It’s hard to explain how the sensation affected me – but I liken it to a painter suddenly becoming blind and unable to see the canvas. Whilst I could still hear the sound coming out of the speakers my ears could not discern the individual elements of my composition – the ringing sound in my ears (tinnitus) was very disturbing. Nor could I add any other parts to the composition because of this inability to hear my music – I was ‘blinded’.


My first thoughts were: ‘How long is this going to last?’ and ‘will I ever be able to compose again’? I am a professional composer and this is how I earn my living. All I could do that day was switch everything off in the studio and think about what had happened over the previous 12 hours.

Thankfully the next day the ringing had completely disappeared and I was able to resume composing in my studio. From that day onwards I decided to have some custom silicon moulded ear plugs made and to carry them everywhere. I never wanted to go through that experience again. I have not suffered from any tinnitus since that weekend.


It is SO important to protect your ears and limit the time spent listening in loud environments. I’m lucky that I have managed to avoid permanent tinnitus by being proactive.


As an Ambassador I fully support the BTA’s Plug’em campaign”.

Comments (2)

  • Russ Davey
    May 11, 2016

    Excellent article Sheridan – I worked as a live musician for years without ear protection I now have permanent tinnitus. Most of the time I can block it out with white noise but to prevent it getting any worse I also have some moulded earplugs. ACS are the most expensive and require a custom fitting, both people don’t want to spend that much they can at least get the more generic ones as they still do the job protecting your ears.

    • Sheridan Tongue
      Nov 23, 2016

      Thank you Russ. Soon after this I ordered custom made ACS earplugs at Boots and now carry them everywhere. I hope more people in the music business see this blog.


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