I’ve written in the past about audiences and who educates them how to respond to performers and performances (see http://www.hdhstory.net/Storyblog/?p=64). In that piece of writing I referred to different kinds of performances and audiences and their attentiveness and interactions to performers. It’s been 8 years since I wrote that piece. Not much has changed in regards to the audiences, however I’ve noticed a new problem in how audiences are taught to be audiences or listeners to artistic performances. I call it the Common Core syndrome.
As I get older, it seems that my hearing has become more sensitive and less accurate at the same time. The same thing goes for my family. Obviously aging has something to do with this. Heredity plays a part also (my mother became hard of hearing when she was older). Part of my hearing sensitivity has to do with the environment I married into.
I married a woman from Iowa. She was very sensitive to things that were loud. She enjoyed quiet evenings in quiet places, which might have had some influence why she doesn’t like to go to movies. I grew up in New York right next to a subway train yard, loud radiators, in an apartment that had street sounds and light flashes all the time. My wife and I settled in a suburb in Long Island. The longer that we lived together the more used to quiet I became. Then we had my son. He grew up with a sensory integration issues. Too much stimulation, especially noise, made it difficult for him to do things. Hence there was even more quiet. The more used to quieter things I became, the more sensitive I was to louder sounds.