Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Nature or nurture

I'm usually content with the full battery of biographical elements I can bring to an explanation for my preference, no my passion, for new and experimental musics. However, recognizing that such a passion is a deviation from the norm is not difficult, and in the apparent loneliness of my audition I sometimes wonder if I actually hear things differently from others, and if there's a physiological reason for my stubbornly "wrong" ears.

For unrelated reasons I won't go into, I recently had a full set of CT and MRI scans of my head. Contemplating the images is fascinating and, without expert guidance, at first a bit unsettling. All of the lumps and wrinkles and asymmetries stand out, and as you start to imagine what it all might mean you might start to worry: aha! that's where the sounds go wrong. But no worry, comes the expert opinion, all of these lumps and wrinkles and asymmetries are well within the range of normal human anatomical variation, the anatomy is perfectly normal. Now the disappointment sets in for a moment before I realize what this means: your ears are perfectly normal, but your life....

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