Music: Special Convocation with Richard Reed on the Subject of Hearing

Thursday, September 14 at 12:30pm to 1:50pm

Fine Arts Center, Concert Hall 105 Upper College Rd, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881, USA

Each week at the URI Department of Music Convocation, faculty coordinators Susan Thomas & Joseph Parillo present concerts and discussions featuring faculty, students and special guests.

This week, we meet Richard Reed who brings a  very special presentation on hearing - a subject vital to all of us, not just musicians.

Before losing his hearing to antibiotics, the musician and cochlear implant- user Reed played Hammond organ and piano with Junior Walker & the All Stars, Otis Rush, Hubert Sumlin, Roomful of Blues, Mark Cutler, and many other R&B, Blues and Rock & Roll bands. Unable to appreciate music for nearly ten years, he had CI surgery in 2002.

Certified by The Hearing Loss Association of America and Gallaudet University as a hearing loss specialist, Reed is a guest lecturer at universities, symposiums and research facilities across the globe. His experiential knowledge helps researchers improve the fidelity of hearing loss technologies. Once again playing professionally, Reed is a 2015 inductee to the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame. 

During live presentation, Reed uses a digital keyboard to demonstrate how things sounded on CI activation day; and how those odd auditory sensations changed over time- through trial and error, device upgrades, new mapping strategies- with practice and patience. Notes and scales evolve into simple melodies, harder-to-discern harmonies, and whole songs, interspersed with his light-hearted take on the heavy challenges and rich rewards of “CI music”.

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