1139   关注:摇滚乐手亲诉噪音对耳朵的影响

WHAT DO YOU hear when there’s nothing to hear? Seriously. I want to know. A quarter century of playing rock music—all variations on an aggressive, highly amplified strain found in the post-hardcore American underground of the ’80s and ’90s—is permanently inscribed in my inner ear. For me, it stays loud when things are quiet. When I wake up and shut down the white-noise machine, I hear one everlasting tone, which generally hovers around A. One recent morning, a different note—fainter than the root note, but easily discernible—pealed distinctly in the middle of my right ear, a lone stalactite hanging in a cave.

四周寂静无声时,你会听到什么?真的。我真想知道。玩了25年的摇滚——就是那种美国八九十年代,地下摇滚后硬核时期,激烈而震耳欲聋的音乐——永久地驻留在我的耳道之中。对我来说,即使身边完全安静,耳中还会隆隆作响。当我一早起来,关上了白噪声发声机,我就会听到一个不变的调,跟A音差不多高。最近一个早上,我听到了一个不同的调——比根音要弱一点,可还是容易辨别——在我的右耳里鸣着,像一个洞穴里的钟乳石一样贮在那儿。

Music is forever, especially if you turn it up enough, and many 30- and 40-something indie-rock grads have long subjected their ears to truly astonishing stress. I liked to lean my forehead on my amp’s speaker enclosure when I played guitar. I liked the vibrations it sent into my skull. Sometimes, mid-song in my first band’s practice space, I’d stick my head in the bass drum. On tour in Europe in 1990, I ended one song each night by getting within inches of my (very loud) amp to produce some feedback. At times I’d get sudden spikes of treble that would turn my stomach and make me stumble, as if they’d briefly deranged whatever whorls of plumbing in my ears govern balance.

音乐是永恒的,尤其在你把音量调的足够大的时候,许多三四十岁还在玩独立摇滚的家伙都早已习惯将自己的耳朵置于大音量的压力之下。当我弹奏吉他的时候,我喜欢把我的额头凑近音箱。我喜欢它令我头颅一块震动的感觉。有时,在跟我的第一个乐队排练的时候,我喜欢把头凑在地鼓上。我们乐队1990年在欧洲巡演那阵,每晚在演奏一首歌的时候,我会站着离音箱只有几英寸之遥的地方(音箱开的可是非常大声)来得到一些反馈。间或地我就会感到高音的刺激,那种刺激能搅动你的肠胃,让我路都走不稳,估计它们扰乱了我耳朵里面某些管理平衡的结构。

Extreme volume is nerd-macho. I couldn’t bench-press 250 pounds—actually, I couldn’t bench-press half of 250 pounds—but my band was much louder than yours. I sneered at those who wore earplugs at their shows. Earplugs turned the picture to black-and-white. Why would you do that? Onstage, your eyesight whiting out from the stage lights and your ears roasting from the decibels, the air seemed suffused with pure adrenaline. It lit you up like a city at night.

使用极端的音量是装逼的行为。我没法承受250分贝的音量——其实,我连250的一半都受不了——可我的乐队可比你的乐队重多了。那些带着耳机演出的家伙在我看来就是笑话。耳机碍眼得就像把一出精彩的演出变成黑白的了。何必呢?在台上,灯光照得让你睁不开眼,分贝在你的耳朵里咆哮,空气中弥漫的都是肾上腺素。这一切都让你跟灯辉煌的城市一样兴奋。

I finally started wearing earplugs onstage in 2002, after playing a particularly deafening show. When I went to bed that night, I heard not one but two distinct tones ringing in my right ear. Others have worse stories.

到了2002年,在一次着实快令我聋掉的演出后,我终于在台上带上了耳机。当我晚上睡觉的时候,我的右耳里回旋着不是一个而是两个不同的音。其他人的处境有的更糟。

“I had a really weird experience playing our penultimate show,” says Pat Mahoney, the drummer for the just-disbanded LCD Soundsystem. “We started playing a song we hadn’t played in a long time. And it was so loud and my ears were so fatigued, it was like being snow-blind. I could tell there was tremendous noise, but I couldn’t identify any of it … It was fucking terrifying.” (Mahoney, as you may have guessed, wasn’t wearing earplugs.)“在我们倒数第二场演出的时候,我有一种很奇怪的感觉,”LCD Soundsystem的鼓手帕特·马奥尼说。“我们演奏了一首我们很久没有演奏的歌。这首歌的音量很大,可我的耳朵已经很疲劳了,几乎听不见声音。我知道我们的音量一定大得惊人,可我就是听不清...这太他妈可怕了。”(估计你已经猜到了,马奥尼在舞台上也不佩戴耳机)
I haven’t experienced anything that dramatic, aside from that feedback-induced near-emesis. But I have to lean in, far in, to hear people in noisy rooms. A meal or a drink somewhere loud means I lose my voice, especially if my wife isn’t there to remind me that I’m shouting in order to hear myself.我还没试过这么戏剧化的事儿,除了那音箱反馈引起的呕吐感。于是在嘈杂的房间中,我要是想听到别人说话,我就得靠过去,靠的非常近。要是在一些喧嚣的地方吃饭或喝酒,我说话的声音可能会突然变得很大,这样才能听到自己的声音,当我的妻子不在身边提醒我的时候这种情况更为经常。
Not good.

这并不好。

When I visit an audiologist, Dr. Andrew Resnick, a guitarist who treats many New York musicians, he asks if I have trouble hearing: Left ear, right ear, both ears? (With background noise, both.) Ears ring? (Yes. But that doesn’t bother me too much.) How many hours a week on an iPod? (Maybe four.) Do I have a history of loud-noise exposure? (Heh. Yes. Lots.)

后来我去拜访了听力学家,安德鲁·雷斯尼克博士,他也曾是一名吉他手,替许多纽约的音乐人看过病。他问我的听力是否有问题:是左耳,右耳,或者双耳?(是的,他们都会嗡嗡作响)戴耳环吗?(戴,但它们并没怎么干扰我)每周听ipod几个小时?(大概四个)我有没有暴露在高分贝噪音里面的经历(嘿,是的。太多了)

Over to the soundproof booth, where Dr. Resnick has me strap on some form-fitting headphones. The room is still and quiet. The ongoing symphony in my ears isn’t. This won’t work, I think nervously. I won’t hear anything over this ringing. The doctor plays a bunch of tones, low to high, quiet and quieter. He turns on background noise, like you’d hear at a bar or a party, and runs voices against it. He plays with the volume until the conversation I am supposed to decipher disappears in the clatter.

坐在隔音房里,瑞斯尼克医生已经给我戴上了合身的耳机。房间里没有丝毫声音。可我耳朵里还跟奏着交响乐一样。我很担心这种疗法不会奏效。除了耳机里的声音,别的我什么也听不到。医生播放了一系列音调,从低到高,有的很小声,以及更小声的。他不断调试音量,直到这声音把我要去识别的对话内容淹没为止。

Here is where I’m supposed to say I’m sorry. Here is where I say we must respect the delicate membranes within our ears. Here is where I beg, in cloying tones, that we teach the children to learn from these mistakes.

我真得说声对不起,我知错了。当初我怎么就没去关系那些脆弱的耳膜呢。我能做的只是苦口婆心地教育孩子们从我的错误中吸取教训。

Screw it. I don’t regret a thing. Sound transported us to places most people never get to see. When my old band got asked to reunite this year at the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in the U.K., our concerns centered on practice logistics and plane schedules, not on our battered eardrums. The old basketball star walks gingerly on aching knees. Me? My ears ring. I can’t hear a thing you’re saying in this noisy bar. And it turns out that my left ear’s hearing is noticeably weaker in certain frequencies—it has what ear docs call the “noise notch” that afflicts those exposed to serious sound. But I’m okay enough. If not, well, I accept the physical penalty without complaint. For now, at least.

得了吧。我才不后悔呢。那种声音把我们带到了一般人无法想象的境地。当的我老乐队今年被邀再次出山在英国的All Tomorrow’s Parties festival上面演出,我们关心的只是后勤保障和航班计划,那饱经沧桑的耳膜早被置之脑后。年迈的篮球明星会因膝盖的伤痛步履蹒跚。我?耳朵轰隆作响。要是在一间嘈杂的酒吧里面我可听不见你说的什么。原来我的左耳对某些频率的声音特别不敏感——这就是医生们所说的“噪音空隙”,它们困扰着那些在噪声下工作过的人们。可我还受得了。就当是毫无怨言地在承受这个肉体上的罚款。至少现在是这样的。

“I think I sacrificed some of my hearing to do this right,” LCD’s Mahoney tells me. “I have absolutely no regrets about that. But talk to me when I’m 60. It may be a huge bummer.”

"我觉得我是在牺牲的我部分听力来做音乐,”LCD的马奥尼跟我说。“我丝毫不后悔。可你要是在我60岁时跟我聊这个问题。听力不好还真是扫兴。”

After I visited Dr. Resnick, I called to interview him for this article, and at the end I asked if he’d worn earplugs onstage. “More often than not, no,” he admitted. “I found it a little difficult to wear them while performing, especially if you’re doing any singing.”

在我见过了瑞斯尼克医生后,为了完成这篇文章,我打电话采访过他,在最后我问他是否在台上戴过耳机。“一般不会,不,”他承认。“演出时戴着它们有点困难,尤其是你在唱歌的时候."

Maybe he’ll sort of understand, then, if we crank the volume all the way up, just a few more times, hoping nothing too bad will happen.也许他也理解那种感受。我们把音量调到最大,一次又一次这样做,但同时希望着这没啥不妥。
Jon Fine, a New York–based writer and advisor to digital ventures, is happily blowing his ears out with the reunited Bitch Magnet.本文作者:Jon Fine, 一个生活在纽约的作者,数码产品顾问,他很乐意与重新团聚的乐队Bitch Magnet一块儿用大音量冲击自己的双耳。
 
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