A Bionic Quest for Boléro

Wired has an amazing article about Michael Chorost’s journey (he was born with partial hearing) to hear music, specifically Ravel’s masterpiece since he totally lost his hearing in 2001.

I found this article the same week as Pete Townsend was warning of the dangers of high volume and headphones. According to Pete it wasn’t the playing of his guitar at !! that did him in it was the crappy studio headphones…. hmmm.

Back to the article My Bionic Quest for Boléro, it begins thus…

“Reprogramming the Inner Ear
With one listen, I was hooked. I was a 15-year-old suburban New Jersey nerd, racked with teenage lust but too timid to ask for a date. When I came across Boléro among the LPs in my parents’ record collection, I put it on the turntable. It hit me like a neural thunderstorm, titanic and glorious, each cycle building to a climax and waiting but a beat before launching into the next.”

He is looking for the perfect audio upgrade, having his implant reprogrammed to achieve the performance he needs. It’s a great story, and possibly a harbinger of the times to come.


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