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Paul Simon ‘beginning to accept’ hearing loss

Paul Simon has said he is “beginning to” accept his hearing loss, and that having such a disability “changes how you interact with life” and work.

The US singer-songwriter, 81, revealed in May that he had almost completely lost hearing in his left ear.

The Hollywood Reporter quoted him on Sunday saying: “I haven’t accepted it entirely, but I’m beginning to.”

He was speaking after the premiere of In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon at the Toronto Film Festival.

“I play the guitar every day. It’s the instrument that allows me to express myself creatively,” Simon said.

“But it’s also where I go for solace. If I’m feeling … ‘whatever.’ So it’s a very crucial thing to me.”

He added: “You know, something happens to you when you have some sort of disability that changes your awareness or changes how you interact with life.”

‘Fell into a depression’

Simon, who rose to fame as one half of the 1960s folk rock duo Simon & Garfunkel, with songs such as Mrs Robinson and the Sound of Silence, released his 15th solo album, Seven Psalms, this summer.

Attempting to play the new songs live, he admitted, has been a challenge.

“Usually, when I finished an album I went out and toured with it, and then I have the opportunity to really investigate the piece,” he said. “And then it evolves to another standard, and goes further.

“Although a week from now I’m going to try and work with two guitarists who will play the parts that I played on the record, and see if I can sing the piece.

“I’m not sure how I can integrate my voice with the guitars.”

In the film, he explains how he “really fell into a depression” over his hearing loss, according to the AFP news agency.

Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney’s documentary is an engrossing deep dive into the career of the star, from his partnership with childhood friend Art Garfunkel to his exploration of world music on his hit solo album Graceland, and on to his recent hearing problems.

“I’ve never wanted to be anything but a songwriter and a singer since I was 13,” he is heard declaring on screen.

At Sunday’s post-screening Q&A, Simon also revealed he had written a new song called When I Learned to Play Guitar, “but I don’t know if I’ll ever do anything with it” he noted.


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