- Written by Paul Glenn
- Entertainment reporter
Paul Simon said he was “beginning” to accept his hearing loss, and that having such a disability “changes the way you interact with life” and work.
The American singer and songwriter, 81, revealed last May that he had almost completely lost hearing in his left ear.
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 very important to me.”
“You know, something happens to you when you have some kind of disability that changes your awareness or changes the way you interact with life,” he added.
“I fell into a depression.”
Simon, who rose to fame as a member of folk-rock duo Simon & Garfunkel in the 1960s, with hits such as Mrs Robinson and Sound of Silence, released his 15th solo album, Seven Psalms, this summer.
He admitted that trying to play the new songs live was a challenge.
“Normally, when I finish an album, I go out and walk around with it, and then I have a chance to really check out the piece,” he said. “Then it evolves to another standard, and goes further.
“Although a week from now I’ll try to work with a couple of guitarists who will play the parts I played on the recording, and see if I can sing the piece.
“I’m not sure how to combine my voice with the guitars.”
In the film, he explains how he “actually became depressed” because of his hearing loss, according to Agence France-Presse.
Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney’s documentary is a deep dive into the star’s career, from his partnership with childhood friend Art Garfunkel to his exploration of world music on his hit solo album Graceland, to his recent hearing problems.
“I’ve never wanted to be anything but a songwriter and singer since I was 13,” he is heard declaring on screen.
In the Q&A session following the show on Sunday, Simon also revealed that he wrote a new song called When I Learned to Play Guitar, “but I don’t know if I’ll ever do anything with it.”
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